Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 – 7:56 am

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature’s Democratic leaders patted themselves on the back Thursday for enacting a 2013-14 state budget that’s balanced and has a reserve.

“You can sleep well tonight now that we have a signed budget,” Brown said after signing the budget that will take effect next week.

The budget totals $96.3 billion in general fund spending and more than $200 billion when special funds, bond spending and federal funds are included.

Brown may hope that a relatively tight attitude on spending, an improving economy and a temporary tax increase have tamed a notoriously volatile fiscal situation.

However, he also acknowledges that the longer term is unclear, warning, “substantial risks, uncertainties, and liabilities remain.”

One test of political will may arise in just a few months if revenue surges beyond what is assumed in the budget. Meanwhile, the temporary nature of the new taxes, coupled with major obligations that the budget ignores, could spark deficits in the years ahead.

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