California Governor Jerry Brown proposed heavy spending cuts Monday to compensate for the state’s $15.7 billion budget deficit. Brown’s proposal, which he presented at a press conference in Los Angeles, would cut $8.3 billion in state spending cuts to public sector employee pay, social programs and prison spending.
“I don’t like making additional cuts, and I recognize the impact they have on Californians,” Brown said in discussing the plan, according to The New York Times. “They are difficult — but necessary — in order to get us back on firm fiscal footing until California fully recovers from the global economic recession.”
The proposal would help negate the need for proposed cuts to California public schools, a topic of much debate, especially in the Bay Area. In early March, Stanford’s Occupy Meyer protest group traveled to UC-Berkeley to present an open letter at Berkeley’s Occupy Education protest against state public education cuts.
Brown has also proposed a quarter-cent sales tax hike and an additional tax on the wealthy known as the Millionaire Tax. On Monday, he said that these measures, combined with his proposed spending cuts, would result in a 16 percent increase in state public school spending.
The taxes, however, are hotly contested.
Brown said that if the cuts proposed today do not pass, the state would have to cut $6 billion from funding for public schools.