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Prop 98 means $1 billion more for education in time of general decline, says LAO
SACRAMENTO, California: The California Legislative Analyst's Office has released a document, "The 2010-11 Budget: California's Fiscal Outlook." The report says "...the state must address a General Fund budget problem of $20.7 billion between now and the time the Legislature enacts a 2010–11 state budget plan." The report also says "The vast majority" of the current year problem can be attributed to the state's inability to implement several major solutions recommended in the July 2009 budget plan."
The hard-hitting report was written by LAO Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and other LAO staff.
John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED's "The California Report," said that Taylor is "quickly gaining a reputation for telling the ugly truth to power."
The November LAO analysis says that because of the way California Proposition 98 (1988) is worded, California's declining revenues translate into an extra $1 billion for the state's public schools, even as revenues available for other programs shrink. According to Myers, "In a nutshell: Prop 98 ties school funding, in part, to year-to-year changes in state revenue. But the year-to-year changes projected by this year's budget deal ended up being wrong, making it seem as though revenues are growing faster than projected, thus guaranteeing schools more money. Remember, this is contrary to reality, where revenues are actually declining. Nonetheless, you can expect education advocates to demand that $1 billion ASAP, given the budget reductions to schools over the past two years."