Brace yourself, Californians: There's no state budget crisis this year. Repeat: No crisis.
Gov. Jerry Brown didn't actually say those exact words this morning as he unveiled his spending plan for the next fiscal year, but he did sound a rare note of budget optimism. “For this year, there is very good news,” Brown said. “Good news in the fiscal stability and resources available for the state of California.”
For the first time since the dot-com boom, the state is expecting a multibillion-dollar tax surplus. Brown wants to increase spending by $8 billion this year and hike education funding by about 10 percent.
“We’re putting $10 billion into the schools of California,” he said. “After years of drought and cutbacks and pink slips for the teachers, we’re finally being able to provide a substantial amount of new money for the schools of California.”
But Brown pivoted back to his more typical, and more cautious, fiscal message. He pointed to the state's more than $300 billion in unfunded liabilities, at one point even holding a chart detailing the obligations over his head, "Say Anything"-style.