Posts Tagged: outlook
Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal adviser, unveils the latest budget projections. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli
California, long bedeviled by daunting budget deficits, is likely to end the next fiscal year with $4.2 billion in reserve, with half that amount due to a budget-reform measure that voters approved on Nov. 4, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan financial adviser.
Buoyed by a soaring stock market and rising home prices, personal income tax receipts are flowing into the state treasury at a rate exceeding all expectations. But one big question looms as lawmakers and the governor consider how to spend the government’s new found riches: what will happen when the music stops?
The rapidly growing cost of state worker retiree health care, a more generous benefit than received by active state workers, soon could be taking a bigger bite out of the state general fund than pensions. As if trading places, a new forecast expects the annual general fund payment for state worker retiree health care, now $500 million less than the payment for pensions, to be $500 million more than the pension payment in six years.
In 2013, the Legislature and the Governor agreed to a restrained state budget for 2013–14, and our forecast of state tax revenue collections has increased since last year. Accordingly, we now find that California’s state budget situation is even more promising than we projected one year ago.