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California Budget Surplus? Governor Introduces Plan That Eliminates Deficit

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By Jim Christie

SACRAMENTO, Jan 10(Reuters) - California's budget deficit is gone after years of financial troubles, Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday, proposing a plan that raises spending on education and healthcare, boosting total expenditures by 5 percent.

Brown vowed to push back at legislators eager to raise spending quickly, restoring the billions of dollars to social services and other state functions that were cut in lean years.

"I am determined to avoid the fiscal mess that the last few governors had to deal with," Brown told reporters as he introduced the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year beginning in July.

The state expects$98.5 billion in revenues and transfers and plans spending $97.7 billion,according to the proposal published on the state Department of Finance website.

That leaves asurplus of $851 million for the year, in addition to a projected $785 millionsurplus for the current fiscal year, which ends in June, allowing the state toput $1 billion toward a rainy day fund.

Brown said he saw abalanced budget for the next four years.

Spending in the upcoming year is set to rise 5 percent, or $4.7 billion, from the current 2012-13 budget. Schools and universities will see a $4 billion boost, healthcare spending will rise $1.2 billion, while transfers to local government will drop $2.1 billion.

The 74-year-oldGovernor said he aimed to focus education spending on the neediest students anddistricts, such as kids in poor areas like Compton, California.

Brown, a Democrat with a national reputation as a liberal, plays up his penny pinching in California.He has repeatedly stressed the need for spending restraint, even amid signs the state economy is picking up. California job growth tops the national average, unemployment has fallen below double-digit levels for the first time in nearly four years, and voters in November approved a tax increase that closed most of the lingering budget gap.

The stateDepartment of Finance on Thursday projected unemployment will fall to 9.6percent this year and 8.7 percent in 2014.

Californiafaced deficits of $9 billion just a year ago and $25 billion two years ago.Brown noted that federal government issues could challenge California'sforecasts and warned the state not to get over exuberant.

"It's veryhard to say no. That's going to be my job," he said.

Signs ofimprovement in the state's economy have raised hopes among some liberals thatcuts made to healthcare and welfare programs of the last few years can berolled back.

Democrats won asupermajority in the state legislature in November's vote, giving them thepower to raise taxes without Republican support.

Republican StateAssembly Leader Connie Conway said she supported Brown's messages of fiscalrestraint and support for education.

http://www.huffingto..._n_2450349.html

Edited by Lincolns mullet

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r-CALIFORNIA-BUDGET-SURPLUS-large570.jpg?7

By Jim Christie

SACRAMENTO, Jan 10(Reuters) - California's budget deficit is gone after years of financial troubles, Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday, proposing a plan that raises spending on education and healthcare, boosting total expenditures by 5 percent.

Brown vowed to push back at legislators eager to raise spending quickly, restoring the billions of dollars to social services and other state functions that were cut in lean years.

"I am determined to avoid the fiscal mess that the last few governors had to deal with," Brown told reporters as he introduced the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year beginning in July.

The state expects$98.5 billion in revenues and transfers and plans spending $97.7 billion,according to the proposal published on the state Department of Finance website.

That leaves asurplus of $851 million for the year, in addition to a projected $785 millionsurplus for the current fiscal year, which ends in June, allowing the state toput $1 billion toward a rainy day fund.

Brown said he saw abalanced budget for the next four years.

Spending in the upcoming year is set to rise 5 percent, or $4.7 billion, from the current 2012-13 budget. Schools and universities will see a $4 billion boost, healthcare spending will rise $1.2 billion, while transfers to local government will drop $2.1 billion.

The 74-year-oldGovernor said he aimed to focus education spending on the neediest students anddistricts, such as kids in poor areas like Compton, California.

Brown, a Democrat with a national reputation as a liberal, plays up his penny pinching in California.He has repeatedly stressed the need for spending restraint, even amid signs the state economy is picking up. California job growth tops the national average, unemployment has fallen below double-digit levels for the first time in nearly four years, and voters in November approved a tax increase that closed most of the lingering budget gap.

The stateDepartment of Finance on Thursday projected unemployment will fall to 9.6percent this year and 8.7 percent in 2014.

Californiafaced deficits of $9 billion just a year ago and $25 billion two years ago.Brown noted that federal government issues could challenge California'sforecasts and warned the state not to get over exuberant.

"It's veryhard to say no. That's going to be my job," he said.

Signs ofimprovement in the state's economy have raised hopes among some liberals thatcuts made to healthcare and welfare programs of the last few years can berolled back.

Democrats won asupermajority in the state legislature in November's vote, giving them thepower to raise taxes without Republican support.

Republican StateAssembly Leader Connie Conway said she supported Brown's messages of fiscalrestraint and support for education.

http://www.huffingto..._n_2450349.html

I wouldn't say he was liberal myself, just slightly left of center. Wish he'd refuse to sign a few recent bills though.

Edited by Usui Takumi

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The real head of the state of California --

john-const2.jpg

John Pérez

John A. Pérez is a union organizer and politician from Los Angeles, California, who has been the Speaker of the California State Assembly since March 1, 2010.

Edited by The Patriot

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A final budget is due in June for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Legislative leaders said they would look for ways to restore funding for courts, social services and dental care for the poor.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) said Brown's proposal is "a very good start, but it's that, it's a start." He added, "We reserve the right to improve as we always do."

Republicans, whose influence in the Legislature plummeted when Democrats won super majorities in both houses, praised the potential increases for education but were skeptical of the governor's ability to limit spending.

"It's going to be very, very difficult for the governor to keep the horses in the barn," said Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar).

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-state-budget-20130111,0,1642840.story

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