California State Senate Republicans came out and blasted the approved $214.8 billion budget pointing out much pork and calling for better fiscal spending.
Senate Republic Leader Shannon Grove highlighted that the California State Legislature 2019-20 Budget includes:
- $3 billion of taxes on businesses over the next two years combined.
- $1 billion in health penalty taxes on California families over the next three years.
- More than $300 million handed out to various Democrats’ pet projects, including local dog parks and gardens.
- Only $250 million was allocated for service providers who serve the developmentally disabled community, but a recent study showed that an increase of $1.2 billion is needed annually for providers.
- $442 million over two years will go to the embattled Department of Motor Vehicles with no accountability for delivering results.
Grove issued the following statement accusing the State Democrats of pushing the envelop on spending.
“Year after year, Sacramento Democrats continue to push the envelope on spending. The majority party has passed another record-spending budget to the tune of $215 billion.
“With a $22 billion surplus, the Governor and Sacramento Democrats are handing out millions of dollars to pet projects and placing more burdens on our hardworking families with new taxes. A lot more work needs to be done to make California affordable for families, but it doesn’t start with new taxes.
“Senate Republicans pushed hard to get funding allocated for the developmentally disabled community. But I am disappointed they did not receive the full amount needed to continue helping the most vulnerable members of our communities.
“And let’s not forget starting July 1st, California drivers will pay an additional 5.6 cents per gallon of gas which Sacramento Democrats advocated for in 2017. This gas tax increase will make California less affordable and take another $850 million out of our families’ pocketbooks. Where is the relief for California drivers?”
Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) blasted the budget stating how Sacramento politiants wanted to add more taxes when there was a budget surplus.
“It’s ridiculous that Sacramento politicians want to add $2 billion in new taxes when the state has a budget surplus of $22 billion. While the final budget includes a few worthwhile projects, the budget’s negatives outweigh the positives.
“From housing to gas to energy, Californians pay more than just about anyone in the nation. Why further burden hardworking families with new taxes on health care penalties, the mobile tax, and an additional $3 billion in taxes and fees on businesses over the next two years? Families are already paying more in taxes and fees, but receiving less in return.
“The final budget does include some priorities that I support, including increasing wildfire assistance, investing in public schools, and avoiding the water tax. But overall, the budget commits to spending a record $215 billion and fails to take into consideration our current surplus or a possible future economic downturn.”
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) noted that the budget could encourage more illegal immigration while noting huge problems from this spending plan could hit in the next economic downturn.
Despite a surplus of $22 billion, the record $215 billion budget framework that the Legislature approved is contingent on more costly tax increases.
For example, imposing a tax on U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who do not have health insurance will make California even more unaffordable.
At the same time, making undocumented immigrants eligible for taxpayer-funded health benefits is a false promise given that Medi-Cal is struggling to serve existing enrollees. It could also encourage more illegal immigration. Sacramento should instead address Medi-Cal’s long wait times, inadequate access, and low reimbursement rates for health providers.
The final budget does include some priorities that I support such as investing in our public schools, preparing for wildfires, and building the state’s rainy day fund. I also welcome the fact that the Governor abandoned his water tax increase.
But overall, the budget commits the state to spend significantly more money in future years, which will be a huge problem when the next economic downturn occurs.
Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), praised the the spending for fire victims, but says the budget puts the state back to the deficit of the Davis years.
“Survivors of Camp Fire will receive much-needed monies to rebuild Paradise and the Ridge in this year’s state budget.
“The Town of Paradise and surrounding communities will receive funding for clean water, $800,000 to begin the environmental review process for a treatment plant for a sewer system and $2 million to adequately staff fire stations in Butte County. Our community will also receive $10 million for other recovery efforts.
“Funding for much-needed infrastructure, debt reduction and life-saving programs like the wildfire mitigation measures are appropriate uses of the taxpayers’ monies.
“However, this budget raises taxes on Californians despite a $22 billion surplus. It funds healthcare for undocumented immigrants by a whopping $100 million. It offers no accountability for the chronic mismanagement at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It commits to permanent spending that will take the state back to the deficits of the Davis Administration. Therefore, I cannot support it.”
Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) called it morally wrong to tax working men and women while offering free health care to people in the country illegally.
“Budgets are about priorities. I agree with the belief that we should be philanthropic to the working families who struggle to make ends meet. I agree that we should care about working poor who can’t afford healthcare. That’s why I find it morally wrong to raise taxes on working men and women in order to give free healthcare to individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 who are in this country illegally.
“California has serious problems we need to address. Even though we are the 5th largest economy in the world, there are still over 130,000 people who go to sleep every night in their cars, on our streets or in our limited homeless shelters. The fact that nearly 11,000 of these people are veterans is unforgivable – especially when the Legislature appears ready to give nearly $100 Million to free healthcare for those in the country illegally.
“Government’s first priority is public safety. Its next priority is to help those citizens who can’t help themselves. My concern about this budget is that it rewards those who are here illegally and punishes those who have played by the rules and still can’t seem to get any relief from the Democrat majority,” concluded Stone.
In his final remarks, Senator Stone commented, “We all want people to be able to live the American dream. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority seems to believe the dream is having taxpayers pay for free stuff for everyone instead of everyone becoming taxpayers.”
Senator Scott Wilk, said there was a lot of items they could have afforded to do, but instead, they opted to vote to raise taxes so he voted no.
“With a $21 billion dollar surplus there are a lot of good things we can afford to do in the budget, and while the state may have excess money in its coffers, it apparently isn’t enough. Today’s budget includes over $2 billion in new taxes, so I voted against it.
With a record surplus, I see no reason to support a budget that makes California even more expensive for people who are already over-taxed, on the hook for sky-high rents and paying more at the pump than people in almost any other state. When is enough, enough?”
Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) explained how both citizens and businesses will be paying a combined $4 billion in new taxes on top of the new gas tax increase on July 1.
“Have you had enough? Despite a record-setting $215-billion budget, including a $22-billion surplus, the governor and legislative Democrats still want more of our money.
“Over the next two years, businesses will pay $3 billion in new taxes. Consumers will be charged $1 billion over three years in health penalty taxes. These increases come on top of the six-cents-per-gallon increase set to hit gas prices on July 1.
“The next generation cannot afford for the state to increase financial burdens on them, but that is what will happen as government continues to take our money, mismanage it, and ask for more.”
The budget was approved in both the State Assembly and Senate Thursday and heads to the Governors desk where he will likely sign the budget.