California’s once-enormous budget deficit has shrunk to just under $2 billion, and the state could soon have a surplus. But Mac Taylor, California’s non-partisan legislative analyst is urging caution as state finances improve.
Not long ago, California hit rock bottom, with a massive budget deficit.
Nearly four years ago Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a crowd, “the $42 billion deficit is a rock upon our chest that we cannot breathe until we get it off.”
Now, according to Taylor, things have changed dramatically. “For the first time since 2001, we actually show us being in the black,” says Taylor.
He’s projecting a billion-dollar surplus for fiscal year 2014-15 – and much larger ones after that. But first, California faces one final deficit: a $1.9 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half. Taylor says lawmakers should resist any pressure to restore previous budget cuts.
“We could slow down or turn down in the future at any time. And we don’t want to be in the same situation we were in, in the past 10-15 years.”
He’s urging the legislature to create a budget reserve, deal with unfunded pension liabilities and pay down the state’s debt. California’s once-enormous budget deficit has shrunk to just under $2 billion, and the state could soon have a surplus.