Analyst Finds Governor's Budget Misses Opportunity

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Legislative analyst Elizabeth Hill estimates the state’s benefiting from over eleven billion dollars in unanticipated revenue.   But Hill says the Governor has decided to spend that money, rather than save it or use it pay off significant debt:

“So we’re concerned that while revenues are good, given that they’re from volatile sources, we want to take the opportunity to capitalize on those revenues and get the state’s fiscal house in order.”

Hill says the Governor’s plan leaves the state with a continued budget gap and other obligations.  She adds that higher energy costs and a softening state housing market could change the economic picture for the worse.   Since the state has borrowed significantly in the past to balance the budget, she says there are fewer options for the future.