Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget numbers that he released Saturday show that California's budget deficit is nearly $6 billion more than he originally projected in January.
The New York Times reported Sunday that the state now faces a $16 billion gap, up from $9 billion, in round numbers. How that'll impact cities, however, remains unclear — at least until voters weigh in at the polls in November on Brown's tax initiative.
"This means that we will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year," Brown said on YouTube, where he released his original statement. "But we can't fill a hole of this magnitude with cuts alone, without doing severe damage to our schools."
"That's why I'm bypassing the gridlock, and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety," he added.
The governor's proposal would raise income taxes for top wage earners and sales taxes statewide would increase a quarter of one percent, he said.
Bloomberg published a story today on the "urgency" of the tax initiative. They explained it a little more:
"The plan would temporarily raise the statewide sales tax, already the highest in the U.S., to 7.5 percent from 7.25 percent. It would also boost rates on income starting at $250,000. Those making $1 million or more, now taxed at 10.3 percent, would pay 13.3 percent, the most of any state," the article stated.
John Meyers, a political editor and capitol reporter for ABC in Sacramento, reported on Twitter this afternoon that statewide, $1.2 billion will be stripped from health and human services, $544 million from courts, $400 million in state worker costs and more cuts to higher education.
Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, issued a statement following the news.
"We have just two ways to fill that hole, cuts and new revenue," he said in a news release. "While budget cuts are unavoidable at this juncture, they must be done in the most sensitive way to prevent further harm to our economy and essential infrastructures. We cannot continue to expect our state to thrive while we simultaneously give away tax breaks to large corporations and scale back funding for our schools, universities, social programs and health care services that are important to children, lower and middle class families and elderly and disabled Californians."
"We will not have the resources we need to put California back on its feet without the revenues that the Governor is proposing in his November ballot initiative," he added.