Report: Brown's budget would help rebuild California

SACRAMENTO — The Legislature's nonpartisan analyst on Wednesday called Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal a "good starting point" for rebuilding state government but cautioned that it carries a lot of risk.

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor released his assessment of Brown's proposal to close an estimated $25.4 billion shortfall over the next 18 months with temporary tax extensions, deep program cuts and a reorganization of state and local governments.

"The governor's proposal includes reductions in nearly every area of the state budget and a package of revenue proposals that merit serious legislative consideration," Taylor wrote. "We think the governor's package is a good starting point for legislative deliberations."

Taylor credited Brown for looking for long-term solutions for a state that has faced persistent budget problems. He said Brown's proposals to shift more state responsibilities to local governments are bold and "have much merit."

Still, the analyst found plenty of risk in the governor's plan. Taylor cautioned that a government reorganization would come with legal, fiscal and policy hurdles.

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