HEADLINES : California
Legislative analyst embraces Jerry Brown's budget plan
The state's top fiscal analyst generally embraced Gov. Jerry Brown's budget Monday, agreeing that the state's spending and revenues are "roughly in balance" and that the governor is right to focus on fiscal discipline for the foreseeable future.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office suggested that California has moved into a new budgeting phase no longer marked by difficult solutions and controversial accounting maneuvers to cover massive shortfalls.
"I think we're in a very different situation than we have been in the last 10, 12 years," Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said in his annual review of the governor's January budget. "At this time we would usually be sitting around talking about 20, 25, 30 billion dollar deficits."
Taylor said other factors threaten the state's finances. Brown's plan does not build a significant rainy-day fund, nor does it bolster the state retirement fund for teachers or save for retiree health care costs, which could burden the state for years to come.