Of the 26 bills that make up the budget deal, the one that I have a copy of actual language is the spending cap, ACA xxx1 (Niello/Adams).
It’s short, but it will probably be unintelligable to the average citizen reading their voter pamphlet. The understanding is there will be a special election on Tuesday, May 19th to consider the spending cap and other elements of the budget proposal.
So it will matter how people view the cap. We’ve been clear here at Health Access about the impact to health care, and the California Budget Project has done impressive work attempting its quick analysis.
Here is Republican Senator Roy Ashburn on the Senate floor: “This will be… the strongest spending limit in a state constitution in any state in the United States.”
The proposal will prevent use of the “rainy day fund” to support existing obligations if these demands exceed the prior year’s spending, adjusted for inflation and population growth. The problem is–that could well be *every year*, because of the rise in health care costs or as the population ages and needs more senior and health services.
At first blush, it seems not just to prevent restorations or improvements, but actually seems to force cuts. In short order, we need to be very clear about the implications for California with such a proposal.