LAO: Surplus Calif. Tax Revenue Could Go To Health Programs

California revenue is on pace to exceed state estimates by about $4 billion, and health and welfare programs could receive some of the extra money, according to a Legislative Analyst’s Office report released Friday, the Sacramento Bee’s “Capitol Alert” reports.

Details of Surplus

The LAO report found that California is on pace by June 30 to exceed revenue estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) fiscal year 2015-2016 budget proposal by about $4 billion, in large part because of increases in income tax revenue.

According to the report, California:

-Received $1.3 billion more in income tax than projected by the end of March; and
-Is expected to surpass estimates for April income tax revenue by $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.

Potential Additional Funding for Health, Welfare Programs

Jason Sisney, a chief deputy legislative analyst at LAO, said, “The April revenues by and large have been so strong that they might cause the state to have an even stronger revenue year than the optimistic scenario we’ve already had,” which could make “additional resources available for budgetary priorities like larger reserves, larger debt payments or changes in state spending programs.”

Under a California school funding law, schools and community colleges would receive most of the state’s extra tax revenue.

However, if state revenue exceeds estimates by $4.4 billion, California’s health and welfare programs could see some of that money, according to “Capitol Alert.”

For example, a Legislative Women’s Caucus proposal that would be eligible for such funding would:

-Expand family leave;
-Increase welfare payments; and
-Increase the number of child care slots available (Miller, “Capitol Alert,” Sacramento Bee, 4/25).

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