Will California budget surplus spur Sacramento to spend or save?

Dec 2, 2013

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference about the state budget on May 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.; Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California’s growing surplus could lead to Democrat-on-Democrat budget battle in the coming months. Governor Jerry Brown has made cautious estimates about the state’s finances, but the bean-counter-in-chief, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, projects year-over-year increases up to a nearly $10-billion surplus by July 2018. Plus he predicts the growth will head into 2020 at least.

Much of the current surplus will go to education spending, and while there are other government-financed programs in need and hard-hit by the recession (child care and welfare, for instance), some argue the extra cash should be saved for leaner years.

What do you want legislators to do? If voters are given a chance to expand California’s reserve stash, will they?

Mac Taylor, Legislative Analyst, State of California

Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget Project

Autumn Carter, Executive Director, California Common Sense

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