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Despite surplus, analyst warns of California ‘fiscal cliff’

(KYMA, KECY/ AP News) - Despite announcing a record-smashing budget surplus of nearly $100 billion on Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to spend that money would likely push the state toward a “fiscal cliff” next year that could require billions of dollars in budget cuts.

According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Newsom’s latest budget proposal, known as the “May Revision,” would leave the state $3.4 billion over a constitutional limit on spending this year and more than $20 billion over the limit next year.

Newsom said that his spending plan would leave the state with $37.1 billion in reserves, but the LAO notes nearly $10 billion of that money is in a special public education account that can’t be used to help solve budget problems.

Voters would have to approve any changes for a proposal that likely would not make it on the ballot until 2024. Senate Democrats believe that timeline still gives them enough time to avoid budget problems.

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Cole Johnson

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