May 9, 2013
Written by Scott Detrow
California’s state government may be turning the corner from a painful recession, but Assembly Speaker John Perez is already thinking about the next one. The Los Angeles Democrat wants to start setting aside money in a rainy day fund, so legislators aren’t faced with deep spending cuts the next time the economy goes south.
California’s Capitol (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
That’s one of several budget priorities Perez laid outduring an interview this week with The California Report.
Just like Gov. Jerry Brown, Speaker Perez isn’t getting too excited about the additional $4.5 billion of tax revenue that California collected this year. The better-than-expected tax haul has led to talk about restoring years’ worth of cuts in education and other state programs, but Perez said that conversation is premature.
“This does not mean that in the out year we’re going to continue to have extra amounts of money,” said Perez, pointing out the revenue is less than the $7 billion of new taxes that Propositions 30 and 39 generated. “So we have to be responsible in using this money that is short-term money differently than long-term money.”
Perez wants to use the money for one-time expenses, like paying off debt.