California Budget Challenge 2016

As Next 10 launches its annual update to the California Budget Challenge, the challenge has shifted from mitigating deep program cuts and tax increases to making choices that will keep California moving in a positive direction.

This differs with the Budget Challenge published five years ago, which presented users with a deficit of over $25 billion and a handful of choices that no one liked.

Budget choices made this year are critical, as the state tries to stabilize revenue to protect against future economic downturns. Some of this year's tough choices facing lawmakers include how much funding should be restored to programs that were cut during the recession, and how much to set aside in the state's Rainy Day Fund that will help protect against future economic downturns.

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Budget Challenge choices this year include:

  • Extending a tax imposed on health insurance companies to help provide healthcare to the state's poor
  • Depositing an additional $2 billion payment into the state's reserve
  • Increasing cash assistance for the aged, blind, and disabled - for the first time in 10 years
  • Increasing funding to the University of California and California State University systems so student tuition rates do not increase