Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his 2015/2016 budget proposal at the state capitol last week. Brown will need to work with the state assembly and senate to get the final budget passed, hopefully in June. Because Democrats hold a majority in both houses he does not need Republican votes. But if the budget calls for any tax increases he will need Republican support because an increase in taxes or fees takes a two-thirds majority in the legislature. Republicans are pleased that Brown is resisting pressure from his own party to spend the states’ surplus. Brown has instead focused on putting money in the rainy day fund and paying down the “wall of debt.”
Recently elected Assemblyman Devon Mathis put out a statement after Brown released his proposed budget.
“Governor Jerry Brown released his 2015-2016 State budget today. During his press conference unveiling the $164.7 billion budget plan, the Governor called for fiscal prudence and the importance of paying down State debt, investing wisely and saving.
“I applaud the Governors focus on getting the State’s fiscal house in order. It is too tempting to spend money when times appear good and we have seen the legislature too many times spend any reserves that we may build up,” stated Assemblyman Mathis.
“The Governor’s leadership on maintaining a balanced budget and rejecting unnecessary spending is critical. I look forward to working with him, and my colleagues in the Legislature, on being fiscally prudent in our decisions, recognizing that we are still in a drought that must be addressed,” said Mathis.
In November, the people of California approved Proposition 1, a $2.7 billion dollar bond measure dedicated to improving California’s aging and inadequate water supply system. However, the Governor’s budget, as proposed today, spends only $532 million of that bond money and of that only $3 million is for storage. In comparison over $1 billion in the spending plan is dedicated to high-speed rail.
“California is still, despite our recent rains, in one of the worst droughts in our history. There are parts of my district, such as East Porterville, that have literally run out of water” said Mathis. “At this time of crisis our priorities must be on increasing storage, and getting water to the people of California not on boondoggles like the high-speed rail project. That is the fiscally sound thing to do” stated Mathis.
Assemblyman Mathis, who built a consensus among all voters in his surprise election, called for the same approach in the legislature and with the Governor.
“It is time to put petty politics aside and work together, not as Republican and Democrats but as Californian’s to continue to put our house in order, focus on solving the real needs of our state and make the bold long-term investments in critical infrastructure that a 21st century economy demands. Putting the people of the state first, I am confident that we can come to broad consensus on many of these common sense issues” concluded Mathis.
Earlier in the week Assemblyman Devon Mathis Commented on Governor Brown’s Historic 4th Inauguration and State of State Address.
“I’d like to congratulate the Governor on his 4th term. This is a historic achievement and I look forward to working together to better the lives of California’s families. However, it is important to note that the Governor’s budget will come out later this week and will show everyone where his priorities lay,” stated Mathis.
Assemblyman Mathis represents the people of Tulare, Inyo and Kern counties and serves as Vice Chair of the Veteran Affairs Committee and is a Member of Aging and Long-Term Care, Agriculture, and Water, Parks and Wildlife Committees.”