California to endure nearly $1 billion in midyear budget cuts

California Gov. Jerry Brown: "This is not the way we like to run California, but we have to live within our means."

Story highlights

  • Next November, California voters will consider taxes raising $7 billion in revenue
  • The almost $1 billion in cuts will hurt universities, schools, the elderly and the disabled
  • The cuts are less than an earlier estimate of up to $2.4 billion, the governor says
  • California earlier this year slashed spending by $16 billion to deal with deficit
California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday almost $1 billion in midyear budget cuts as a result of insufficient state growth.
The so-called "trigger cuts" will result in reduced spending for universities, schools, prosecutions, and in-home care for the elderly and disabled, Brown said.
"They're not good," Brown said of the cuts. "This is not the way we like to run California, but we have to live within our means."
The latest round of cuts is on top of $16 billion in reduced spending that the state enacted earlier this year, Brown said.
The $1 billion figure is better than an earlier estimate that as much as $2.4 billion in trigger cuts would be needed by the end of this year, Brown said.
California's economy -- the eighth largest in the world -- grew by about $100 billion this year, allowing the state's cuts to be less than the $2.4 billion figure, Brown said.
"The good new is the economy of California is recovering," the governor told reporters in Sacramento. "But it's not enough to close the California deficit that has been built up for years."
In June, California lawmakers passed a budget bill that reduced the state's deficit from $26 billion to $5 billion, officials said. California's general fund spending this year amounts to $85.9 billion, down 6.1% from the prior year.
"General fund spending as a share of the economy is now at its lowest level since 1972-73," a summary to the California budget says.
Next November, California voters will go to the polls to consider taxes that would provide $7 billion in additional revenue, Brown said.
"We need a real serious public discussion between now and November on whether or not people want to spend more," he said.
"All I can say is you can't provide money that you don't have. That's the point here: You either cut or you tax," Brown said. "As the governor of California, I'm sensitive to what these cutbacks do to real people."