Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Sometime before Christmas, Gov. Jerry Brown will close the books on a proposed 2013-14 budget.

A few weeks after that, Brown will deliver that budget to the Legislature and we’ll learn whether voter approval of Proposition 30, Brown’s sales and income tax increase, will make a big difference in the state’s finances.

Supposedly it would, because, the Capitol assumes, it will generate about $6 billion in extra revenue for 2013-14.

However, much of that money must go to schools under the state constitution’s school finance requirement, Brown has said he wants to spend much of it to reduce the “wall of debt” that the state has erected in recent years and, finally, other revenue is coming in under projections and overall state spending is running over budget.

As a recent report from the Legislature’s budget analyst notes, the state is on track to end the current fiscal year with a nearly $2 billion deficit, even though the current budget assumes $8.5 billion in revenue from Proposition 30.

While Proposition 30 will ease the state’s chronic fiscal woes, therefore, a big gap will remain between what the state is likely to receive in revenue next year and what it would take to restore spending to pre- recessionary levels – perhaps $30 billion.

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