SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After years of cutting education and social services to close deficits, California’s budget is finally in balance as long as state lawmakers follow Gov. Jerry Brown’s guidance to hold the line on spending, the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget analyst said Monday.
Last week, Brown released a $97.6 billion state spending plan for the new fiscal year and projected a $1 billion reserve.
Analyst Mac Taylor said Monday that while California is on a much better financial footing, uncertainty remains about the federal deficit debate, the state’s heavy reliance on wealthy earners, and huge unfunded pension and retiree health-care liabilities.
Under Brown’s spending plan, the budget will increase by nearly $5 billion, largely due to voter approval in November of a sales and income-tax initiative.
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The state’s shortfall was $25 billion when Brown took office two years ago.