Business, Finance & Economics

California announces $1 billion in midyear trigger cuts


California Gov. Jerry Brown announces his public employee pension reform plan at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2011.


Max Whittaker

California will make almost $1 billion in midyear budget cuts, on top of reducing spending by $16 billion earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown announced today.

State revenue is $2.2 billion short of projections, which triggers specific midyear budget cuts under the budget approved by the Legislature last June, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported.

"They're not good," Brown said of the cuts, CNN reported. "This is not the way we like to run California, but we have to live within our means."

School bus funding, colleges, MediCal, childcare, counties, local libraries and services for the mentally and physically disabled will be most affected by the cuts, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported. The University of California told the Silicon Valley Mercury News that it would dip into its reserves to make up for the $100 million in state funding it will lose. But Jack Scott, chancellor of California's community colleges, said his system will probably raise tuition by $10 per unit to $46, starting in summer 2012, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

However, the cuts are lower than estimated, CNN reported, since California did grow by about $100 billion this year. This allowed the state to avoid drastic cutbacks at public schools, which could have included shortening the school year by up to seven days, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported.

The pain associated with the midyear cuts may make voters more open to Brown’s recently announced plan to raise $7 billion a year by temporarily increasing the state sales tax and hiking taxes on the state’s highest earners, the New York Times reported.

“The people of California have had enough with cuts,” Darrell Steinberg, the president pro tempore of the State Senate, told the New York Times. “They want relief and they are willing to pay a little bit more to get relief.”