California

Legislative Analyst Agrees Brown's Calif. Budget is Balanced

Assuming, of course, actual spending matches the budget, which it never does

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After years of cutting education and social services to close deficits, California's budget is finally in balance as long as state lawmakers follow Gov. Jerry Brown's guidance to hold the line on spending, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget analyst said Monday.

Analyst Mac Taylor commended the Democratic governor for emphasizing fiscal restraint in the proposed spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year that he released last week. He urged lawmakers to consider Brown's education reforms, which include transferring more money to poorer districts, and the governor's proposal to expand health care for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Brown released a $97.6 billion state spending plan for the new fiscal year and projected a $1 billion reserve. Two months ago, the Legislative Analyst's Office had projected a more cautious outlook that forecast a $1.9 billion deficit.