Senator Janet Nguyen has issued the following statement in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2017-2018 Budget Proposal:
“While Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal for 2017-18 expressed concern about deficit spending, I respectfully disagree with the priorities set forth in the proposed budget. In my opinion, in light of the Governor’s forecast that revenues are slowing, we should demonstrate fiscal responsibility by more aggressively building our rainy day fund, paying down the more than $240 billion in debt and sustaining programs that are important to Californians; among them education and healthcare.
Recently, the UC Regents announced a plan to increase tuition, a proposal to which I am vehemently opposed. The state should not shift the burden to hard-working Californians who are already struggling to pay high tuition costs. Additionally, as the state looks to allocate funds, it would be prudent to invest in current health care programs that help residents avoid costly emergency room visits. At this time, there are not enough doctors and dentists to serve our Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal populations because our reimbursement rate is too low to sustain their practices. Strengthening these programs now, will not only render a healthier California but will also save taxpayer dollars.
Before the State considers tax increases or creates new programs, I think it is important that the State demonstrate that every possible step has been taken to hold costs down and avoid frivolous expenses. For my part, I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to ensure that we, as your representatives, are good stewards of taxpayer dollars and that other solutions are explored before the pockets of hard-working Californians are impacted.”