One day after reaching a compromise with legislative leaders on the state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he has not agreed to consider increased spending if the economy outperforms his administration's expectations, but he did not dismiss the possibility.
Legislative Democrats had said Monday when they accepted Brown's relatively conservative revenue estimates that they could call for additional spending in January if tax revenue came in higher than anticipated.
"I haven't made any agreement," Brown told reporters at the Capitol. "Look, we have boom and bust, money comes in, money goes out. And I'm trying to be a good, prudent steward of the people's money."
"In general," he added, "I think prudence rather than exuberance should be the order of the day."
The Democratic governor appeared with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, to tout the deal days before a likely vote in both houses Friday.
"This is not only a balanced budget, but it's a real step forward," Brown said.
The budget deal includes a modified version of Brown's controversial proposal to shift more money to poor and English-learning students. The proposal was made more palatable to lawmakers by Brown's agreement to spread more money to more school districts statewide.
The agreement also includes commitments to spend money in the future on mental health services, college student aid and other programs. Brown agreed to spend far less than lawmakers hoped, however. Legislative Democrats had initially urged about $2 billion more in spending on state services and programs than Brown's figure. The $96.3 billion agreement reached Monday includes about $200 million more in discretionary, general fund spending.
"The budget not only is in balance," Steinberg said, "but it begins to provide some relief to the people who were hurt most over the last several years."
The budget agreement did not resolve Brown's proposal to eliminate the state enterprise zone program and to use the money instead for sales tax exemptions for manufacturing and biotech research companies.
Brown said today that the enterprise zone negotiation remains "out in front of us." The issue would not have to be resolved before a budget vote this week.
PHOTO: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, center, speaks to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, as Gov. Jerry Brown, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, right, look on. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders
VIDEO: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento and Gov. Jerry Brown speak to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Amy Gebert