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Public Law

Public Law Journal: Spring 2015, Vol. 38, No. 2

Legislative Update

By Kenneth J. Price*

English Poet William Blake observed that, "It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend." In my last Legislative Update, I mentioned that Governor Jerry Brown’s budget was just about to be released and promised you highlights from the $113 billion dollar document. After reading the budget in depth and each party’s reaction to it, I am asking myself whether or not Governor Brown’s fellow Democrats are having an easy time forgiving their state party head in light of what amounts to his downright conservative budget proposal.

I. THE GOVERNOR’S 2015 PROPOSED BUDGET

The source of the Democrats’ anxiety does not stem from a budget problem. Rather, the proposed budget increases education spending and expands certain social programs. At the same time, it leaves some social programs at pre-recession funding levels, pays off state debt, and funds a "rainy day" savings account to be used when things are not so rosy. Brown is cautious. "If we don’t reign things, then down the road there will be drastic cuts, just like there were over the last 10 years. It’s either stop and start or steady as you go," the Governor said at a news conference. "We have a carefully balanced budget, more precarious than I’d like, but is balanced."

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