A non-partisan fiscal analyst is advising California lawmakers that the state will have more money to work with than Governor Jerry Brown has estimated.
The Assembly Budget Committee met Thursday to consider the governor's spending proposal, which projects a $2 billion deficit.
State Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor told lawmakers his office believes personal income tax revenues could come in $5 billion higher than the governor’s estimate.
"I’d say based on what’s changed since November, we still feel pretty comfortable with our personal income tax estimate," says Taylor. "If anything, things are probably a tiny bit more positive since we did our forecast in November."
Both Taylor and the governor’s Department of Finance acknowledge it's hard to predict California’s highly volatile revenues. But Democratic lawmakers could seize on the higher projections to justify retaining affordable housing and education funding that Brown has proposed cutting.