SACRAMENTO – Today, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released its fiscal forecast for the 2019-20 budget year which predicts that California will have a significant surplus of $15 billion by June 30, 2020.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Vice Chair of the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee, Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), issued the following statements in response to the LAO’s report.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates:
“Republicans advocated for the creation of a Rainy Day Fund and we are pleased that it has worked as anticipated. While California is in a better position to handle a minor economic downturn, we should continue to be cautious given economic uncertainties and the significant number of wildfires and other natural disasters that California has and continues to face.
“When the new Legislature convenes and before we start a wish list of new spending, Republicans and Democrats have an opportunity to pay down debt, expand our reserves and address some of our most pressing issues such as addressing the opioid crisis and homelessness, improving our schools, and providing quality healthcare."
Senate Budget Committee Vice Chair Jim Nielsen:
“This potential $15 billion tax surplus should be used to provide relief for residents impacted by California’s wildfires. We must invest in our community’s recovery efforts and the prevention of future catastrophic wildfires.”
For the 2018-19 budget year, the state allocated $443 million in emergency funds that went toward fighting wildfires. In September, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Department obtained an additional $234 million after spending their entire firefighting budget in just two months.
For the 2018-19 fiscal year, California had $10 billion in discretionary General Fund resources of which the state allocated $3.5 billion to one-time spending and $1.5 billion to on-going spending, with the remainder used to build reserves.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba. To contact Senator Jim Nielsen, please call him at 916-651-4004, or via email at email@example.com.