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President’s Message Jan 21, 2016

President's Message

Thursday, January 21st 2016

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

The California State Legislature has returned to Sacramento after the New Year and conversations related to how the state should manage is fiscal affairs are in high gear. Many elected officials are looking for ways to increase spending citing a “budget surplus” while others, including the Governor, warn of lessons learned from past recessions and drastic changes that invariably occur in regard to the state’s revenues. The Governor proposed a $122.6 billion General Fund budget plan for 2016-17 that would make significant increases in funding for education, health care and state infrastructure, while moving up the amount of the state’s Rainy Day Fund and paying down state debts and liabilities. When Governor Brown took office, the state faced a $26.6 billion budget deficit and estimated annual shortfalls of roughly $20 billion. These deficits, built up over a decade, have now been addressed by a combination of budget cuts, temporary taxes and the recovering economy. The Governor also sent a letter to the Legislature urging budget restraint. However, the elephant in the room remains what is going to happen with the vast amount of unfunded liabilities the state has, some estimates put the figure at $200 billion or more, related mostly to medical and pension costs for public employees. With so many baby boomers on the verge of retirement, the next decade will painfully reveal the need for vast amounts of public dollars to meet the anticipated shortfalls. In addition, California’s aging transportation system is in dire need of repair. There remains considerable disagreement on how best to address the need. Some see additional taxes required while others, i.e. Republicans, call for further fiscal efficiencies. In any event, it is certainly ironic that for many issues involving prudency related to government expenditures, it is none other than Governor Brown who does the most to keep members of his own party from over spending and over taxation. Now if only he would take that same philosophy and apply it to over regulation…… We look forward to representing our membership and working with other associations for the overall benefit of California agriculture. Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon. 

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.