Governor releases record California spending plan
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday released a record-high level of spending in his latest revision to the state budget, a plan that shows California government awash in tax revenue.
The revised budget projects $107.7 billion in spending from the general fund, the state's main checkbook for paying day-to-day operations. That's nearly $1 billion more than the budget Brown proposed in January.
"This is good news for California," he said.
The spending level represents a 24 percent increase over the $87 billion general fund budget approved during the 2011-12 fiscal year, the low point of the recession when California was cutting billions of dollars from state programs and furloughing state workers.
Brown's plan now goes to the Legislature, where many Democrats have expressed an interest in spending much of the surplus revenue. Brown favors an approach that prioritizes savings and paying down the state's debts and unfunded liabilities.
"There are many good ideas, in health care, in schooling, environment, prison reform, court expansion, but we only have so much money," he said.
The governor characterized his latest budget plan as one of "restraint and prudence." Lawmakers have until June 15 to make changes and pass a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.