Yesterday, the Governor filed his budget proposal for FY 2015his blueprint for what he thinks we should do together through state government in the coming year (and how we will pay for those things.)
Unlike his proposal last year, the Governor’s FY15 budget does not include significant new revenue, which means that the investments he specifies for education, human services, and elsewhere are relatively modest. These include:
- Higher Education, which would see a third straight year of increasesalbeit to levels still 22% below where they were in 2001 (adjusted for inflation)
- Elder Services, where increases would expand access to home care and improve quality
- Early Education & Care, where continued funding growth would help move more children off the wait list and into early education and care programs
In addition to these new investments, the Governor’s proposal continues support for a number of prior commitments, including a multi-year plan to fix and improve our transportation system and another multi-year effort to update and standardize the rates paid to contracted human and social service providers (“Chapter 257”).
To support these kinds of targeted investmentsand to help fill a preliminary budget shortfall we estimated at roughly $500 millionthe Governor’s budget includes $334 million in temporary revenue, meaning revenue that will be available for just this year and will not support ongoing initiatives. It also includes $132 million in new ongoing revenue, which would be available both this year and in future years. This ongoing revenue comes from a variety of different sources.
- Eliminating the tax exemption for candy and sodawhich raises roughly $68 million while potentially helping to curb obesity and improve public health
- Expanding the 5 cent bottle deposit to include non-carbonated beverages (like water)along with which the Governor proposes to restore funding for recycling and redemption centers
- Making changes to corporate taxes, most of which would eliminate loopholes and increase tax fairness
Using the money from these and other revenue changes, the Governor’s budget does include some important initiatives to help our families and our communities. But without a more ambitious revenue proposal which could offset the long-term cost of the income tax cuts of 1998-2002, it is difficult to give our children the opportunities they deserve and to build a vibrant economy for the future.
Our new Budget Monitor provides further detail, showing how the Governor’s budget would affect programs across state government, from health care and education to public safety and the environment.