After weeks of negotiations, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the largest budget in California history. Whoever thought that spending $97 billion could be so difficult?
When former California state treasurer Jesse Unruh referred to the “obscene surplus” that led to the Proposition 13 taxpayer revolt in 1978, he was talking about an excess of funds that equaled roughly $3 billion — barely a rounding error compared to this year’s imbalance between revenues and expenditures. Today, the combination of a booming stock market, a highly progressive tax system and a sizable influx of federal pandemic relief dollars has created an embarrassment of riches for our Golden State’s gold-laden coffers.