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February 23, 1994 - The 1994-95 Governor's Budget recognizes that the two-year budget plan adopted last June has been undermined by the continuing stubborn state recession. Faced with an $8 billion budget funding gap for 1993-94, the Legislature and Governor adopted a two-year plan to achieve a balanced budget in 1994-95. That plan now is $4.9 billion out of balance based on the state's current revenue and spending trends identified in the 1994-95 Governor's Budget.
February 24, 1993 - The 1993-94 Governor's Budget recognizes a decline in the state's fiscal fortunes for the fifth consecutive year. The continuing state recession has once again undermined the state's current-year spending plan, and will force the Legislature and the Administration into more painful choices as they struggle to balance the budget for the 1993-94 fiscal year. Even without attempting to provide for a prudent reserve, this task will require spending cuts or revenue increases conservatively estimated at $8.6 billion over the next 18 months. Given the magnitude of actions already taken in recent years, resolving this year's fiscal crisis requires a fundamental rethinking of governmental responsibilities in California. Here we assess the state's current fiscal outlook and evaluate the Governor's response to the situation. We also examine the implications of the 1994-95 outlook on possible budget strategies for 1993-94.
February 1, 1992 - The outlook for the 1992-93 budget is dominated by the continued poor performance of the state and national economies. Even if recovery from the recession is now underway, as anticipated by the 1992-93 Governor’s Budget, state revenues will not be sufficient to both pay off the accumulated budget deficits and fund state services at current levels. Further delays in the timing of the state’s recovery will compound the problem faced by the Legislature in crafting a budget for 1992-93. The Governor’s Budget realistically addresses only a portion of the state’s budget problem. Although it would make some significant reductions in major state programs, it relies upon optimistic assumptions as to the availability of federal and other funds to bring the budget into balance, and does not offer an adequate reserve fund to protect the budget against unanticipated changes.
February 27, 1991 - (308 pages, 13 MB) As the Legislature faces deliberations on the 1991-92 budget, the combination of underlying structural imbalances and a downturn in the California economy has resulted in an estimated two-year budget funding gap of almost $10 billion. The Governor's Budget seeks to address the budget problem through a combination of proposals to reduce existing state services and increase revenues, and contains a number of "prevention" proposals aimed at reducing the cost of existing services in future years. However, the Governor's budget does not fully address the funding gap and also raises concerns regarding its impacts on health and welfare program users, schools, and other affected groups. Ultimately, the Legislature must craft a plan that balances the need for state services with the need to address the state's underlying structural budget problem.
February 1, 1990 - (360 pages, 16MB) The 1990-91 Governor's Budget reflects two main constraints: first, the state's economy is expected to grow at a moderate pace, limiting the resources available to fund state spending requirements, and second, past state policy dictates the allocation of available resources. The administration’s budget offers as a starting point a set of policy choices that only partially accepts these dual constraints. While the budget recognizes the need to restrain state expenditure growth to the level of available resources, it proposes changes in existing policies as to how those resources are 'allocated. In part, this reflects the administration's preferences as to how the state's money should be spent. Over the next four months, the Legislature and the administration will attempt to reconcile their preferences in developing a state budget for 1990-91. However, changes in the economy and in the state's past policy choices also may influence the budget that is ultimately signed into law. Here we review the state's fiscal condition, the major areas where de-mand for state services is outstripping its ability to provide them, and the extent to which the state's existing revenue base is capable of supporting the delivery of existing and additional state services. Finally, we provide a brief examination of the strategies proposed in the Governor's Budget for resolving the state's fiscal dilemma.
February 22, 1989 - In beginning its work on the state budget for 1989-90, the Legislature faces the most adverse set of fiscal circumstances it has faced since the recession of 1981-82. The state’s budget reserve has been completely depleted, and a deficit in the current-year's budget appears likely. At current levels of service, expenditure requirements for 1989-90 will exceed projected revenue growth by at least $500 million, and the full restoration of the state's reserve fund would require another $1.1 billion. This fiscal situation has come about despite the continued strength of the California economy. The state government faces a number of challenges. Here, we review the challenges facing the Legislature and the state; review the state's fiscal condition, the major areas where demand for state ser-vices is outstripping its ability to provide them, and the extent to which the state's exist-ing revenue base is capable of supporting the delivery of existing and additional state services; and provide an examination of the strategies proposed.
February 1, 1988 - (227 pages, 7.5 MB) The Governor's Budget for 1988-89 anticipates continued moderate growth in the California economy, and projects that revenue collections will be sufficient to fund normal workload increases and statutory requirements, as well as provide funds to address certain other state priorities. As in recent years, the proposed revenues and expenditures would leave the state with an unrestricted reserve of about $1 billion. The budget indicates that the projected level of state revenues will place the state $24 million below its appropriations limit for 1988-89. Here, we provide an overview of the condition of the General Fund in the current and budget years. We also discuss reasons for changes in the state's fiscal outlook since the last Governor's Budget and presents some highlights of the 1988-89 budget.
February 1, 1987 - (280 Pages, 13MB) The Governor's Budget for 1987-88 reflects an anticipated temporary slowdown in the California economy. Projected revenues will not be sufficient to both fund the current level of services and restore the reserve to a $1 billion level. Faced with this choice, the budget gives its highest priority to the restoration of the reserve. Even though state revenues are projected to decline in "real" terms, the state's constitutional limit on appropriations could further restrain the state's ability to maintain the level of services provided to its citizens. Here, we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition in 1986 and 1987, discuss the state's budget prospects beyond the upcoming year, and examine revenues and expenditures in detail.
February 1, 1986 - (235 pages, 10.5 MB) Reflecting both the continuing expansion of the California economy as well as the need to provide for less-certain times, the Governor's Budget for 1986-87 provides for expansions in state services and employees to provide those services, and restores the state's "rainy day" fund. While the level of General Fund revenues is 4.1 percent higher than the level estimated for the current year, the level of General Fund expenditures proposed in the budget is only 1.1 percent higher than the level estimated for the current year. This is because (1) a substantial portion of the projected revenue growth must be used simply to fund current expenditures, and (2) the budget proposes to increase the balance in the state's reserve fund. Even without these checks on expenditure growth, however, the state's ability to expend funds at a rate comparable to the growth in revenues would be limited in 1986-87 by the state's constitutional limitation on appropriations. Here, we discuss the state's fiscal condition in 1985 and 1986, explain the state's budgetary prospects beyond the upcoming year, and provide a more detailed examination of revenues and expenditures.
February 1, 1985 - (189 Pages, 9 MB) Due to the continued expansion of the California economy, the Governor has been able to present the Legislature with a budget for 1985-86 that provides for both significant expansions in state-funded services and a healthy reserve for contingencies. In terms of purchasing power, the level of General Fund revenues projected for 1985-86 is 1.3 percent higher than the level of revenues estimated for the current year. Because a substantial portion of these revenues will not have to be used to replenish the reserve, as was necessary in the current year, expenditures can grow by even more—almost 3.9 percent. Thus, the short-term outlook for the state's General Fund is reasonably bright. Here, we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition in 1984 and 1985, discuss the state's budgetary prospects beyond the upcoming fiscal year, and provide a more detailed discussion of revenues and expenditures.
February 1, 1984 - (245 pages, 12 MB) For the first time in three years, the Legislature's budget choices are not limited to raising taxes or cutting into the base level of expenditures. Sufficient funds will be available in 1984-85 to maintain, and even expand, the existing level of services provided to the people of California. In terms of real purchasing power, the level of General Fund revenues projected for 1984-85 is 4.0 percent higher than the level of revenues estimated for the current year. Here we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition during the current and budget years, estimate what it would cost to maintain the existing level of services provided by the state in 1984-85, take a brief look at the long-term fiscal outlook for the state, and provide a more detailed discussion of revenues and expenditures.
February 1, 1983 - (219 Pages, 75 MB) For the third year in a row, the Legislature faces a budget that does not contain sufficient funds to maintain the existing level of services provided to the people of California. If the budget estimates turn out to be accurate, 1983-84 will be the first year since 1977-78 in which state revenues exceed state expenditures. Whether, in fact, these estimates do prove to be accurate will depend largely on three factors: (1) the performance of the state's economy; (2) policy decisions made by the Legislature, and (3) decisions handed down by the courts. Estimated expenditures in 1982-83 are $1.5 billion greater than estimated resources available in the current year. Thus, unless actions are taken by the Legislature prior to June 30, 1983, or the economy (and hence revenues) performs better than anticipated, the state will end 1983 with a deficit of approximately $1.6 billion.
February 1, 1982 - (136 pages, 8 MB) For the second year in a row, the Legislature faces a budget that does not contain sufficient funds to maintain the existing levels of service. In terms of real purchasing power, the Governor's Budget for 1982-83 is 3.5 percent lower than the budget for the current year. The General Fund portion of the Governor's Budget will be in balance only if several critical assumptions underlying the budget are borne out. These assumptions include: the state's economy will improve by rnid-1982; the Legislature will approve total revenue package of nearly $1 billion; at the June 1982 primary election, the voters will approve the bond measure for state prison construction, .and disapprove initiatives relating to income tax indexing and inheritance and gift taxes. If these and other assumptions are not borne out, the General Fund will end the year with a deficit, even if there is no carry-over deficit remaining. Here, we provide a perspective on the state's current fiscal situation, including options for addressing the deficit in the General Fund Budget for 1982-83, provide a perspective on the budget issues that the Legislature faces in 1983-84, and discuss major issues that have been identified in our review of the state's current fiscal condition and the Governor's Budget for 1983-84.