California Money

New revenue estimate shows likely fault line over spending in budget battle between governor and lawmakers

By Chris Megerian
May 19, 2015

The battle lines in the annual tug-of-war over the state budget became clear on Monday evening, when legislative analysts said there would be $1.1 billion more revenue available for discretionary spending than Gov. Jerry Brown has estimated.

The higher projection is sure to be used as fodder by Democratic lawmakers who want more money for government services. Brown has usually sought to tamp down the demand for additional spending by insisting on more conservative revenue estimates.

However, as California’s economy continues to grow and the stock market remains strong, revenue has generally reached the higher projections released by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which provides budget advice to lawmakers.

An additional $1.1 billion is relatively small when compared with the $115 billion in general fund spending that Brown has already included in his latest budget proposal, which was released last week. But it would be enough to pay for the additional child care services that some lawmakers want, or provide public healthcare to immigrants who are in the country illegally.

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