Simply put, there was no language in front of the conferees and this was not in the January or May Revise proposals leading up to the debate. It is brand new and been public for maybe 48 hours. Really a perfect example of how broken the State’s budget process has become.
As the Legislature prepares to pass Governor Brown’s last budget of this term it’s worth noting how it compares to his previous three spending plans. Using the numbers from Department of Finance, I was able to craft a quick chart showing all four years of spending (4th being tentative) by major program areas. This is a really simple illustration that doesn’t give the obsessive budget wonks much information about the individual state programs where the real policy takes place. So just consider this either a primer, refresher, or just something to look at.
There’s a whole lots of data analysis and number crunching that occurs during California’s budget process. Infographics continue to be the best way to explain complex data to voters in clean, accessible ways. Not too many organizations have used infographics to explain California fiscal state, but that is changing and for the better.