June 15, 2017: Opening remarks by budget chair Sen. Holly J. Mitchell pror to vote on 2017-18 budget bill

June 15, 2017

Watch the votes live HERE:
 

SACRAMENTO (June 15, 2017) -- To hear the opening remarks by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, prior to today's vote on the 2017-18 budget, click on the link above. Her prepared remarks are below.

Assembly Bill 97

Budget Bill

Conference Report

Floor Statement

Members:

  • AB 97is the Budget Bill for 2017-18.This bill is the culmination of months of consideration, deliberation, and negotiation in the Legislature and with the Administration. Over the course of the first half of this year, the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review and its subcommittees has held 65 hearing to craft this budget. Let me thank subcommittee chairs and staff who did all the extra hours to bring us to this point today. Outside the public eye, it is the staff on both sides of the aisle who put in countless hours on every aspect of budget process.
  • The measure strikes what we believe to be a good balance that includes considerations of spending priorities, policy reforms, and fiscal prudence.
  • Over the recent years, we have struggled with budgetary constraints that resulted in reduced support for education, the courts, sharp reductions in health, human services, and other programs that serve Californians, and lack of investment in many other areas.
  • The budget before you represents our continue effort to restore and reinvest in important programs and services.Earlier this year, we achieved a significant reinvestment in physical infrastructure with the approval of the transportation package. With this budget, we continue to strengthen the state’s commitment to human infrastructure, with much needed additional resources for improved access to healthcare services, continued investment in child care and early education, targeted resources for higher education and financial aid, additional funds for the courts and access to justice, and significant ongoing increases to K-14 education.
  • The conference version is based upon adoption of the Administration’s revenue estimates for the General Fund and the Legislative Analyst’s property tax estimates. It retains the Administration’s aggressive reserve debt pay-down, but adopts an approach that maximizes the state’s ability to fund needed improvements in services. The budget is structured in order to relieve general Fund pressure, maximize federal revenues and use cost-effective means of funding public programs.
  • The budget includes total General Fund expenditures of $125.1 billion for 2017-18, an expenditure level which is $1.1 billion higher than under the May Revision. This also includes shifts and repurposing of program expenditures, with additional emphasis on expenditures among programs to address legislative priorities, as well as increasing spending commitments over a multi-year period.
  • Finally, this budget retains the state’s ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence and stability, with a General Fund reserve of $1.4 billion (and Budget Stabilization Account balance of $8.5 billion), additional payments to retire budgetary debt, commitment of resources for state infrastructure, a significant contribution to reduce pension liabilities, and greater budgetary flexibility in future years.
  • Overall, this is a fiscally responsible approach to continue rebuilding our public programs and saving for the future.
  • Members, I ask for your “aye” vote.