Mr. Brown and legislative leaders on Tuesday announced a budget deal that calls for general-fund spending of $96.3 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1—close to a May proposal by the governor and about $2 billion lower than what legislators called for late last month.“I am trying to be a good, prudent steward of the people’s money,” Mr. Brown said at a news conference, flanked by the leaders of the state senate and assembly. […]Assembly Speaker John Pérez, a Democrat, called the compromise budget plan “fiscally restrained.”
We’re not exactly sure what standard of “fiscal restraint” is being used here. The Senate and assembly are slated to get at least 98 percent of the budget they wanted and concessions from Governor Brown on new spending for “mental health and dental care,” in addition to the Governor’s plan for higher spending on underperforming public schools. There’s also still $50 billion in unfunded liabilities for state retiree health care, and $4.5 billion more is needed each year to keep Calpers solvent. Oh, and there’s a $68 billion-plus bullet train to nowhere to build.