Gov. Jerry Brown this morning downplayed an estimate by the nonpartisan legislative analyst that California will collect about $3.2 billion more in revenue than Brown projected in his budget revision last week, saying the difference is minor and he will hold the line on spending.
"We got the (budget) in balance, if we stay the course," Brown told about 1,000 people at the California Chamber of Commerce's annual Host Breakfast in Sacramento. "And that's my intention."
The dispute over available revenue underlies an emerging conflict at the Capitol between Brown and legislative Democrats over spending on social programs, including mental health, child care and adult dental services.
Despite income tax revenue running about $4.5 billion ahead of expectations through April, Brown last week said economic growth will be slower than previously anticipated. He projected revenue next fiscal year down $1.8 billion from his January estimate.
The state's legislative analyst, Mac Taylor, predicted higher tax revenue next fiscal year based largely on an improving stock market and a more favorable economic forecast.
Like Brown, however, Taylor said revenue projections are volatile and that the state should approach spending with caution.
The Democratic governor said today that relying on uncertain revenue leads the state to "get into trouble."
"That's what happened before," Brown said. "You spend money that you think is going to be there year after year, and it isn't."
PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his revised budget plan at a news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Renée C. Byer / Sacramento Bee