The latest cash statement from the state controller is out and covers the fiscal year through October. It shows revenues to the state running about $600 million ahead of the forecast incorporated into the state budget last June. Blog readers will recall that Gov. Brown insisted on what might be described as “conservative” estimates of revenue – over the objection of legislative Democrats – as a kind of hedge against possible bad news on the economy. If the estimates prove to be below the actual receipts, there will simply be that much more cash in the general fund than otherwise.
On a cash basis, in the fiscal year that ended June 2012 (2011-12), the state was running a cash deficit (receipts < spending) and finished the year with a negative reserve in the general fund of -$9.6 billion. However, last fiscal year (2012-13) with the Prop 30 temporary taxes in place and the (slow) economic recovery, the state ran a surplus (receipts > spending), leaving the reserve still negative – but a less negative -$2.4 billion. (There is no reconciliation provided by the state between the official budget that the legislature passes and which uses a fuzzy accrual methodology and the cash statements of the controller. That's a Bad Thing.) However, the state might well finish this fiscal year with a positive balance in its general fund on a cash basis if some unforeseen bad economic news doesn’t materialize.
You can find the state controller’s latest cash statement at:
The cash statement for 2012-13 (which also shows 2011-12) is at:
So things are OK for now, as George Clooney's aunt might put it: