Common Sense Report Echoes Statewide

One problem with sounding the alarm on state courts funding cuts is that each crisis usually exists in isolation, at least outside political and policy circles. So it’s good news that a new report from the Common Sense group is getting some “legs,” including fueling a major editorial in the Orange County Register.
That report (see previous post) notes that the state’s “balanced” budget simply ignores some realities. It also notes that the increased tax revenue is not going so much for services as other expenses, like retirement commitments. Notes the OC Register: “Despite more tax revenue, proposed spending is significantly lower in key areas in 2013-14 than in 2007-08, the analysis found. Funds for social services declined 14 percent; universities, 14 percent; courts, 16 percent; and transportation, 31 percent. State spending on K-12 education is expected to be no higher than in the 2007-08 proposed budget.”

In contrast, spending on health care services is up 62 percent; employee compensation, up 16 percent; retirement benefits, up 25 percent; and debt service, 24 percent. “General obligation and retirement benefit debt has grown substantially – 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively,” the report says.

See the Register opinion here.