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'Technical Glitch' Forces Early Release of Gov. Jerry Brown's FY 2012-13 State Budget Proposal

January 5, 2012
Just one day after sending a press release announcing that he would release the details of his FY 2012-13 state budget on Jan. 10, a "technical glitch" in which Gov. Jerry Brown's plan was apparently accidentally uploaded to the state's public budget website forced the Governor to release his proposal today. While there are many aspects of this budget which affect programs important to cities, there are no proposals to sweep revenue from local government.
 

Cuts, Ballot Proposals and More "Trigger Cuts"

Calling his budget "honest" but full of "very painful" cuts, the Governor presented the Department of Finance's (DOF) estimate that the total state debt for FY 2012-13 will be $9.2 billion. DOF also projects future deficits of $4.7 billion in FY 2013-14, $2.9 billion in FY 2014-15 and $1.9 billion in FY 2015-16.

Gov. Brown's budget proposal includes a total of $10.3 billion in cuts and revenues to balance the budget and create a $1.1 billion reserve. The proposal assumes that voters will pass his ballot measure to raise taxes by $7 billion. Should the voters reject the tax measure in November, an additional $5.4 billion in trigger cuts would occur mainly to K-12 schools, higher education, courts, fire protection and a variety of parks services.

The Governor's ballot measure proposes a n income tax increase of up to 2 percent on high-income earners and millionaires for five years and a temporary one-half cent sales tax increase. The ballot measure also provides some constitutional protection for the funds dedicated in 2011 to counties and local law enforcement to fund the realignment of various state responsibilities to the local level.

During today's press conference the Governor touted his ballot measure as part of the solution to reducing the state's "wall of debt," and announced that the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) voted today to suspend action on their proposed ballot initiative that was aimed at protecting state funding for realignment.

Redevelopment

The Governor's FY 2012-13 budget proposal includes a summary of past actions on redevelopment in FY 2011-12, including the recent Supreme Court decision, but no new proposals. When asked by the press about the possibility of negotiating with cities on some redevelopment restoration, among other comments, the Governor said that he would be open to hearing ideas.

Restructuring and Reorganizing State Government

The Governor is proposing a comprehensive package of reorganizations and eliminations of two state agencies, 39 state entities and nine programs.

Of particular interest to cities are:

Environmental

  • Transfers the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) back to the California Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Eliminates the Department of Boating and Waterways and transferring the functions into the Department of Parks and Recreation;
  • Reduces the number of Regional Water Boards from nine to eight as well as reducing the number of members on the boards from nine to seven;
  • Consolidates the Colorado River Board within the Natural Resources Agency;
  • Eliminates the Salton Sea Restoration Council; and
  • Eliminates the State Geology and Mining Board and transfer its responsibilities to various existing offices.

Transportation

  • Consolidates CalTrans, department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the High Speed Rail Authority, the Highway Patrol, the California Transportation Commission and the Board of Pilot Commissioners into a newly created Transportation Agency; and
  • Eliminates the Office of Traffic Safety, which distributes federal grants to state, county, city and other entities, and would transfer duties to the DMV. The functions of the department of Boating and Waterways would be transferred to the department of Parks and Recreation.

Consumer Services

  • A new agency will include the departments of Consumer Affairs, Housing and Community Development, Fair Employment and Housing, Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the new restructured Department of Business Oversight.
  • Transfers the functions of the California Housing Finance Agency to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Business and Economic Development Programs

  • Transfers the Infrastructure Bank, the Film and Tourism Commissions, the Small Business Centers, and the Small Business Guarantee Loan Program to the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

Public Safety

  • Moves office of California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) and California Technology Agencies under the newly created Government Operations Agency;
  • Moves California Highway Patrol under the newly created Transportation Agency;
  • Consolidates Gambling Control Commissions and related duties into the Department of Justice;
  • Consolidates various behavioral health programs, including Parolee Service Network, formerly under the Department Mental Health and Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, to the Department of Health Care Services;
  • Moves the DMV to the state Transportation Agency;
  • Eliminates the State 9-1-1 Advisory Board, responsible for advising policy and procedures of the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Office, within the California Technology Agency; and
  • Eliminates the Governor's Emergency Operations Executive Council, which coordinates state agencies and departments with a nexus to emergency response and recovery. This body will still meet upon call of the Governor as needed.

Employer and Employee Agencies

  • Transfers the Fair Employment and Housing Agency under a newly created Business and Consumer Services Agency;
  • Transfers the Public Employees' Retirement System under a newly created Government Operation Agency;
  • Eliminates the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and consolidates its functions with the Employment Development Department;
  • Eliminates the Fair Employment and Housing Commission and transfers its functions to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing;
  • Eliminates the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board and transfers its functions to the Department of Industrial Relations; and
  • Eliminates the Division of Labor Statistics and Research and transfers its functions to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Changes Affecting Policy Issue Areas Environment

The proposed trigger cuts, to be implemented if the Governor's ballot measure is not approved, could potentially affect the following areas:

  • State Parks and Recreation. If trigger cuts are engaged there would be a reduction of all seasonal lifeguards and elimination of 20 percent of park rangers.
  • Department of Water Resources. If trigger cuts are engaged there would be a reduction of flood control programs of 20 percent, including floodplain mapping and risk awareness programs.
  • Marine Life Protection Act and Marine Life Management Act, and the monitoring and management of fish and wildlife species. The core functions by the Department of Fish and Game would be retained, including permitting and data collection and monitoring activities of sensitive endangered species.

California Air Resources Board Cap and Trade program funds. The Governor's budget includes a framework to invest proceeds from Cap and Trade fees to reduce greenhouse gases consistent with AB 32.

Several local government programs are eligible for the funding including:

  • Funding to reduce emissions through energy efficiency, clean and renewable distributed energy generation, including local public buildings;'
  • Funding to reduce emissions through the development of state-of-the-art systems to move goods and freight, deploy advanced technology vehicles and vehicle infrastructure, advanced biofuels and low-carbon and efficient public transportation;
  • Funding to reduce emissions associated with water use and supply, land and natural resource conservation and management, and sustainable agriculture; and
  • Funding to reduce emissions through strategic planning and development of major infrastructure including transportation and housing.

State Water Resources Control Board. The Governor's budget proposes an increase of $11 million to the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Small Community Grant Fund for grants to small and severely disadvantaged communities to address critical wastewater system needs.

Transportation

Weight Fees. The Governor's budget continues the use of weight fees to offset state transportation-related debt service costs, providing General Fund relief totaling $349.5 million.

Gas Tax Rate Adjustment. Under the 2010 Gas Tax Swap, the gasoline excise tax (HUTA) is adjusted each year to keep the Gas Tax Swap revenue neutral. In FY 2011-12 the rate is set at 35.7 cents per gallon. The FY 2012-13 budget assumes a rate of 35 cents, but the actual 2012-13 rate will be set by the Board of Equalization prior to March 1.

Public Safety

COPS/Booking Fees. The Governor's FY 2012-13 budget proposal maintains state subvention grants for law enforcement, including COPS funding, booking fee subventions, and county sheriffs programs. However, there are no additional allocations for frontline law enforcement to mitigate impacts of public safety realignment.

Realignment

While the 2011 Public Safety Realignment is moving forward as planned in the FY 2011-12 budget, several modifications have been made including:

  • A major change between counties and the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) beginning on Jan. 1, 2013. DJJ will no longer accept new juvenile inmates. Instead, counties will assume juvenile inmate supervision duties and will receive $10 million in planning grants for FY 2012-13. The 2011 trigger cuts imposed on county juvenile inmate contracts with DJJ, which dramatically increased the cost for counties, will be suspended and likely eliminated to provide additional resources for the new population to remain under county supervision.
  • Additional grants for the Community Corrections Partnerships to continue implementation of realignment of community corrections plan in their respective counties.
  • Development of new allocation formulas for realignment funding based on caseloads and population trends.The corresponding account and subaccount structure for corrections, law enforcement, and health and human services programs will include: 1) set base funding levels; 2) growth funding formulas; 3) Transferability between certain subaccounts; and 4) reserve account provisions.
  • Inclusion of existing mental health and screening programs under existing county realignment funding accounts. Additionally, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) will replace certain functions of the Corrections Standard Authority and the California Emergency Management Agency. BSCC will provide coordination and technical assistance for state and local partners in the criminal justice system. BSCC comprises various state and local representatives with similar composition as the local Community Corrections Partnerships.

Corrections

  • Grants. Additional grants for SB 678 programs to counties, awarded to agencies that maintain custody over felony probationers rather than returning them to prison.
  • Custody Options. Increased alternative custody options for low-risk female offenders with prior serious or violent offenses, such as GPS monitoring. Savings through reduced housing costs will be transferred to fund treatment programs for this population.
  • Facilities. Continued conversion and repurposing of existing facilities from female to male inmate facilities, and ongoing study in need for youth to adult facility conversion.

Fire Response and Safety

  • Implementation of State Responsibility Fee. After several attempts in 2011, the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is continuing efforts to establish a new fee not to exceed $150 per structure for property owners in areas where the state maintains responsibility for fire response to supplement the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) budget, as authorized in FY 2011-12.
  • CalFire Reductions. If trigger cuts are engaged, there would be a 10 percent reduction to CalFire state response capabilities that will include reductions to the air response program and fire station closures.

Other Public Safety Items

  • California Bureau of Special Investigations. Partial restoration of the Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement programs, through the creation of the California Bureau of Special Investigations. However, this is subject to significant cuts again if the Governor's ballot measure does not pass.

Economic Development

  • Enterprise Zone Reform. The Governor has proposed introducing legislation to reform the enterprise zone program.
  • Expenditure for Office of Business and Economic Development. The budget proposes $4.1 million in General Fund money to further the work of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
  • Single Sales Factor. The Governor will propose legislation to move to a mandatory single sales factor for apportioning multistate business income.

State Mandate Repeal

The Governor's proposal seeks to:

  • Repeal dozens of state mandates that have been suspended over the past two or more years. It is not clear at this time which mandates are included in the proposal. However, there are several mandates that have been suspended over the past two or more years that directly impact cities.
  • Suspend various state mandates unrelated to law enforcement or property taxes.
  • Defer the FY 2012-13 payment for mandate costs incurred prior to 2004-05.
  • Implementation of mandated sex offender treatment program participation under Chelsea's law will be delayed for two years.
  • The administration will also request new mandate reimbursement test claims related to the sexually violent predator reimbursable state mandates, under Jessica's Law. (The full list of repealed mandates will be made available shortly by DOF).

Pensions

In October 2011 the Governor released a 12-point pension reform plan, which proposes changes that impact both state and local pensions. According to DOF, this proposal will cut taxpayer's costs in half for providing pensions to state workers.

Employee Relations

Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program

  • Implements a surcharge on employers to fund UI interest payments for a loan received from the Federal Unemployment Account to pay UI benefits. This surcharge will fund future interest payments for funds borrowed from the federal government to pay for UI benefits. It is unclear whether this will apply to both public and private employers.
  • Increases the minimum monetary eligibility requirements to qualify for UI benefits. This proposal attempts to account for the increases in employee wages that have occurred since the requirements were last adjusted in 1992.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Funding

  • Decreases the Governor's discretionary WIA funding, which reflects a 10 percent reduction in federal discretionary funding.

Labor and Workforce Development Funding

  • Increases the Labor and Workforce Development Fund by $2.3 million to expand education and outreach efforts.


 
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