Some in Sacramento have made the argument that real and significant budget cuts have been made in recent years. A recent Sacramento Bee article highlighted the view shared by the majority party that “spending (today) is 11 percent below the state’s pre-recession peak.”
But a closer look at recent spending decisions being made at the State Capitol shows that spending is actually on the rise.
The 2012-13 budget adopted in June grows state General Fund expenditures by $4.3 billion (from $87.0 billion to $91.3 billion), a nearly 5% increase. Total spending is slated to grow to $142.6 billion from $135.1 billion last year, an increase of 6%. In the last two weeks of session, the California Budget Fact Check found that the Legislature continues to pass legislation that will add billions in new spending. Specifically:
- Last week, 358 bills passed out of the fiscal committees of both houses. Those bills are estimated to cost taxpayers over $2.3 billion.
- $1.5 billion of those new expenditures will be expended by special funds. $800 million in spending will be General Fund expenditures. If these bills were enacted to begin this year, General Fund spending would be $92.1 billion, up from $87 billion last year.
- In addition to direct state spending increases, the fiscal committees passed out a number of bills that would make new local taxes easier by eroding existing taxpayer constitutional protections and reducing the vote threshold needed to impose new taxes at the local level.
- A new report by the United States Census Bureau shows that the number of state government workers in 2011 was 9.3 percent higher than the state workforce in 2001, from roughly 372,000 employees to more than 407,000. This was in spite of efforts taken over the past several years to freeze state hiring and leave vacant positions open.
Click to continue reading “While State Continues to Struggle with Deficits, Politicians Continue to Spend More“.