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RBBudget2.JPGSunny indeed - and not just the weather.

Spring is getting off to a good start in California's state budget, too, with general fund revenue for March exceeding Gov. Jerry Brown's budget forecast by $254 million, state finance officials announced Friday.

Year-to-date revenues are slightly $5 billion above the forecast of $59.645 billion, records show.

Employment and housing are helping to lead the way.

California's unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in February, its lowest level in more than four years, finance officials said.

Home prices in the state rose for the 12th consecutive month. The median price of an existing single-family home sold in February was $333,880, an increase of 24 percent over the past year, according to the California Association of Realtors.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown explains his 2013-2014 budget proposal at a news conference in January. Randall Benton / Sacramento Bee file



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