State Budget: SEIU 521 members waged a good fight

Stand Up for CA 521 canvassGovernor Jerry Brown and the state’s Democratic legislators sealed the deal to pass a $86 billion budget in the final days of June.

But it comes at a high cost. To close a $9.6 billion deficit, the budget includes painful cuts to our schools and colleges, to our court system, and if rosy revenue projections don’t come through, more health and human services programs will get slashed before this fiscal year is over.

Why are we stuck with another year of cuts, cuts and MORE cuts?
Not for lack of trying from SEIU 521 members who joined thousands of others across the state calling on a handful of GOP legislators to do the right thing and help pass a balanced budget that wouldn’t destroy vital public services and programs.

“This budget agreement is a first step in sparing working families in California from some of the worst of the budget cuts. But it is clear we need to find more resources to fund vital California services, be they libraries, schools, parks, health care or local government.
Otherwise, California will continue to fade.”
— Matt Nathanson, SEIU 521 Region 2 Vice President

Republican votes had been needed for an election to allow voters to extend sales and vehicle taxes. When a minority of GOP legislators wouldn’t budge on extending revenues, Brown and the Democrats hammered out an imperfect budget deal that they could pass with a simple majority vote.

Budget highlights:

  • $150 million cut each to University of California, California State University
  • $150 million cut to state courts
  • $200 million in Amazon online tax enforcement
  • $2.8 billion in deferrals to K-12 schools and community colleges
  • $300 million from $12 per vehicle increase in DMV registration fee
  • $50 million from fire fee for rural homeowners
  • $1.7 billion from redevelopment agencies

The budget package counts on the state getting $4 billion in higher projected revenue. If that does
not come through, we would get… guess what?…. MORE CUTS!

What do we do now? Stay on message and stay vigilant.

  • The answer to California’s structural budget deficit is REVENUES.
  • We need real pension reform that doesn’t simply attack WORKING FAMILIES.
  • We will be keeping a close watch on Sacramento and work with the leaders who aren’t afraid to show LEADERSHIP.
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