Assembly Budget Committee Convenes Overview Hearing on Governor’s Proposed State Budget

The Assembly Budget Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to provide an overview of Governor Brown’s proposed 2018-19 State Budget. In like fashion of last week’s Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee overview hearing, Amy Costa from the Department of Finance walked members through major components of the Governor’s proposal and Mac Taylor from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) highlighted particular areas of the budget where the Legislature could take different action than what Governor Brown proposed.

During the hearing, members focused much of their attention on the higher education and the proposed new statewide online community college, transportation infrastructure spending, and courts and criminal justice. Disaster response and preparedness activities garnered much attention as well, with discussion focused around firefighting capabilities, emergency communications, forest management, and recovery efforts related to the recent wildfires throughout the state and Southern California mud and debris slides.

Assembly Member Jim Wood inquired about the impact that the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization would have on the state budget. The Department of Finance indicated savings to the state would be realized as a result of the six-year federal reauthorization, and more detail will be provided in the Governor’s May Revise. Health-related topics were largely not addressed during the hearing and will be further explored during upcoming meetings of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services.

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Philip Ting adjourned the hearing, indicating that the overview hearing was the first of many hearings in the months to come; last year, the Committee held 98 hearings in total on all budget-related proposals. Subcommittee hearings will being in March.