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California Faces Massive Cuts If Taxes Fail

By Mike Luery

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- A shocker at the Capitol today, where a new report spells out for the first time what California might look like if the Governor's tax extension proposal fails at the ballot -- assuming it even gets there.

The potential cuts affect every Californian. They are painful, but could be necessary if the tax extension is shot down either by voters or the California legislature. Here's what California could look like according to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office:

Starting with education, the potential cuts include:

•    Eliminating class size reductions for K-3 for a savings of $1.2 billion
•    Requiring all Kindergartners to be 5 years old at enrollment ($700 million)
•    Raising community college fees from $26 to $66 a unit ($170 million)
•    Hiking student tuition at University of California and Cal State University ($270 million)
•    Reducing enrollment at Cal State University ($124 million)

Government workers would also be directly affected under the LAO's proposal:

•    9% pay cut for state workers ($700 million)
•    Cutting State contributions to employee health care ($330 million)
•    Two furlough days/month for court employees ($130 million)

The LAO's alternative plan also calls for potential big changes to the environment including:

•    Allowing oil drilling off California coast ($100 million)
•    New fee on rural homeowners for wildfires ($300 million)

Altogether the plan presents about $13 billion in alternatives, if the tax extension goes down to defeat. Governor Brown has not spelled out any of these options – but Senate Democrats unveiled them today to let voters know what's at stake in the June election on taxes – if there is an election at all.

If you have a story idea for On The Money, send us an e-mail to You can also follow On The Money stories in progress via Twitter at!/mikeluery.

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