After Years of Deficits, Budget Surpluses Projected for California

Nov 20, 2013

California's non-partisan Legislative Analyst, Mac Taylor, discusses the state's fiscal outlook at a news conference in Sacramento Wednesday.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

  California’s structural deficit is history – and the legislature’s non-partisan budget analyst is projecting growing surpluses for the next several years.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the welcome budget news still comes with words of caution.

Three years ago, California faced a $26 billion deficit.  Now, that red ink has turned to black – a surplus of more than $2 billion, with larger ones projected in future years.  But as the saying goes, those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.  So despite the projected surpluses after years of budget cuts, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor is recommending only limited new spending:

Taylor: “We do give high priority to build up your reserve so you have a cushion to ease yourself out of a problem of at least a moderate recession, and pay off those liabilities, so that you don’t have to incur those and put a burden on future generations.” 

Taylor’s forecast has particularly good news for schools and community colleges: They’re projected to get an extra three billion dollars this fiscal year.