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Local officials react to Legislature-approved budget

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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With the California Legislature passing a new state budget Tuesday and Gov. Jerry Brown saying he would sign the Democratic document, local representatives and officials are giving their thoughts about the impacts it could bring. Michele Schuetz, superintendent of the Auburn Union School District, said Wednesday the district has hopes for the budget. “Until we really see that it’s going to be signed we haven’t done a lot of research,” Schuetz said. “Of course what we are hoping is there would be no further cuts to education and that there would be no mid-year cuts.” Schuetz said mid-year cuts to programs are difficult because those programs have already been operating for half a year. Schuetz said the district has been planning on what it may need to cut with its budget committee all year. “We haven’t implemented those cuts at this point, but once we see the budget we will continue to work to see that we can meet the needs of our students and have a balanced budget,” she said. Dr. Richard Burton, director of Health and Human Services for Placer County, said the budget doesn’t appear to harm its programs. “We are all still working with our colleagues at the state to fully understand the impacts,” Burton said. “In general, there do not appear to be any new immediate reductions in services or benefits to residents that have not already been incorporated into our planning for 2011/2012. It is really premature to be more definitive than that until many of the actual details and allocations are better defined in the days ahead.” Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Roseville), who represents the 4th District, and Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) both said they voted against the budget. “Our plea for real pension reform, a hard spending cap, job creation and a change in the way government does business is clearly falling on deaf ears,” Ted Gaines said. “Instead, this budget relies largely on the hope that an additional $5.2 billion in new tax revenues will miraculously appear in the treasury. Should that additional revenue not materialize, education and public safety will pay the price with deep spending cuts.” Beth Gaines said the budget is an irresponsible plan that doesn’t ensure the state won’t see the same financial problems in the future. “While I’m pleased to see the governor and majority party have finally listened to Californians and presented a plan that won’t increase taxes by $58 million on hardworking families, the simple truth is this budget still contains illegal tax increases, reckless spending and does nothing to protect education or ensure we won’t face the same problems down the road,” she said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com