New California Budget Crafted to Influence Voters
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers say there will be dire consequences if California voters reject the governor's tax hike on the November ballot.
Brown, a Democrat, signed a $91 billion budget late Wednesday that includes $6 billion of automatic cuts if the initiative fails.
To influence voters, lawmakers added more distasteful provisions in the final days of budget negotiations. It authorizes a shorter school year, the possibility of more fee increases at public universities and less money for local police.
For good measure, they changed election law in a bid to give Brown's initiative top billing on a crowded election ballot.
The governor and lawmakers say the bulk of cuts will have to fall on public schools and universities because education accounts for more than half of state spending.