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Brown Signs ‘Honest But Painful’ California Budget One Day Before Start of New Fiscal Year

He vetoes nearly $24 million in items from the first on-time budget in five years

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the 2011-12 budget approved by the Legislature that makes big cuts to higher education and “realigns” many service responsibilities to local governments.

“This is an honest but painful budget that returns California’s General Fund spending to levels unseen since the 1970s,” Brown said in a statement. “We’ve cut our deficit by $15 billion and achieved financial balance this year. This is a huge step forward. But California’s long-term stability depends on our willingness to continue to pay down debt and live within our means.”

He did veto $23.8 million in specific items. Click here to view the list.

The next fiscal year begins Friday, and an on-time budget hasn’t been passed in five years. For the first time, legislators’ salaries were suspended every day past the June 15 deadline until a balanced budget was approved.

The budget proposal was passed by the Democratic majorities in both houses and doesn’t include the tax extensions Brown has pushed hard for, but does order that online purchases include state sales tax from now on, which Amazon has publicly protested. If $4 billion in expected revenue doesn’t come to fruition, there would be $1.5 billion in cuts to K-12 education.

The budget bill includes $650 million in cuts to each the University of California and California State University systems and delays millions of dollars in reimbursements to community colleges.

Many social services will lose millions of dollars in funding, including mental health programs, and 70 state parks will be closed. The list, as of May, doesn’t include any parks or state beaches in Santa Barbara County.

While the budget is considered balanced and closes the nearly $10 billion deficit, it doesn’t address ongoing structural deficits that have been a concern among legislators during budget discussions.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

SB 87 2011-12 Budget Bill

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