With a proposed budget that includes an $850 billion surplus and a $97.6 billion general fund for the 2013-14 fiscal year, Gov. Jerry Brown painted a brighter financial future for California at Thursday's proposed budget plan roll-out.
The $97.6 billion exceeds the 2012-2013 amount by $6.3 billion.
“Most people want to spend more money than the state has, and I will tell you, 2013 is the year of fiscal discipline and living within our means,” said Brown at this morning's news conference at the State Capitol. “I'm going to make sure that happens.”
In a press release issued today, Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas) stepped forward with a show of support for Brown's proposed budget plan.
“I applaud the Governor for his leadership on reducing the deficit and presenting a new balanced plan as a starting point in this year's work,” he said. “I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and bring the voice of the Central Coast to the table.”
California's K-12 schools are big winners with the plan's reallocation of education spending. Brown said sorely needed additional funding - $2 billion - is on the way in phases for K-12 schools that have a disproportionate number of English Language Learners, foster children and schools that serve students from low-income families.
Brown characterized this move as “deploying teaching resources more effectively.”
"Treating unequals equally is not justice," Brown said. "Growing up in Compton or Richmond is not the same as growing up in Los Gatos or Beverly Hills or Piedmont."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44.8 percent of Gilroy's children who are 5 years of age and older speak a language other than English at home, and persons below the poverty level is at 11.0 percent for the 2007-2011 census period.
Brown also prioritized addressing climate change, air quality, and the state's aging population, with a decidedly laser-focused goal of securing California's future as leader in technology and innovation.
"This is a strong, confident investment in the future of California," Brown stressed. "There are a few people, some of them who are hankering after life in Texas, who call California a failed state. But we are the innovation state. We're the state of Apple computer, of Facebook, of Hewlett-Packard, Hollywood, stem cell research, international trade, and diversity. This is a state that's dynamic, it's creative, and it's prosperous."