SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 (Reuters) – California’s budget
watchdog criticized Governor Jerry Brown’s outlook for the
state’s revenues as “too pessimistic” in a report on Friday,
saying his revised budget plan fails to account for tax revenues
to be reaped from the stronger stock market.
“We do not agree with the administration’s view that there
has been a significant dimming of the state’s near-term economic
prospects,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office said in the report.
“In addition, we observe that the administration’s new revenue
forecast does not seem to reflect some recent economic
improvements – most notably, a sharp increase in stock prices.”
, May 14 (Reuters) – California remains on
track to post its first budget surplus in more than a decade in
2014, Governor Jerry Brown said on Tuesday, but he warned
against loosening the purse strings in a state that he called “a
big spending machine.”
In a revised 2014 budget unveiled Tuesday, Brown left
California’s 2014 budget surplus at $850 million, despite
buoyant personal income tax receipts. Instead, he revised down
the general fund budget by 1.3 percent to $96.4 billion.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 8 (Reuters) – California collected $15.03
billion in revenue in April, putting the state’s fiscal
year-to-date revenue at $4.6 billion above the estimates in
Governor Jerry Brown’s initial budget plan, the state
controller’s office said on Wednesday.
Overall revenue in April missed the budget estimate by
$119.9 million, but was up $5.4 billion from the same month a
year earlier – an increase of 55.9 percent – propelled by rising
incomes and consumer spending, State Controller John Chiang’s
office said in a report.
SAN DIEGO, May 2 (Reuters) – After California stunned the
$3.7 trillion municipal debt market last year with three
bankruptcy filings, analysts at Standard & Poor’s do not expect
any more – this year.
Local government finances in California are improving and
concerns of more municipal bankruptcies popping up in the most
populous U.S. state are overdone, said S&P analysts, speaking on
Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual National Federation of
Municipal Analysts conference in San Diego.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 30 (Reuters) – Stockton, the biggest
U.S. city to have filed for bankruptcy, forecasts $840,000 more
in the current fiscal year than its officials initially
anticipated, one sign of how local revenues in California are
picking up after several years of declines.
How the modest increase plays out for Stockton, which has a
$155 million budget, remains to be seen as the city of 300,000
is preparing a plan for adjusting its debt after recently
winning court approval to press on with its bankruptcy case.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 26 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge in July
could take up the issue of whether a bankrupt city can shield
workers’ pensions while inflicting heavy losses on bond holders
and other creditors, a lawyer for California’s pension fund for
public employees said on Friday.
Since filing for bankruptcy last year, the California city
of Stockton has made a point of maintaining payments to the
California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers,
while targeting creditors for steep losses.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 22 (Reuters) – California’s
anti-smoking advocates are asking their legislature to back a $2
state tax hike on cigarettes – double the increase voters
rejected last year – on the heels of President Barack Obama’s
urging a federal cigarette tax increase earlier this month.
The proposed increase in California would lift its excise
tax on a pack of cigarettes to $2.87, steeply raising the cost
of smoking in the most populous U.S. state to help fund
SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 (Reuters) – The board of
California’s $255 billion public pension fund on Wednesday
approved accounting changes requiring state agencies, cities and
counties to pay rate increases of up to 50 percent in a plan to
fully fund the pension system’s obligations in 30 years.
The move comes at a tough time for California’s local
governments as many of them are still struggling with budget
problems following the financial crisis and the loss of revenue
from the housing slump. Two sizeable California cities, Stockton
and San Bernardino, last year filed for bankruptcy, citing large
bills for pensions as one of the reasons for their financial
SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 (Reuters) – The board of
California’s $255 billion pension fund for public employees on
Wednesday approved accounting changes requiring employer
contribution rate increases of up to 50 percent in a plan to
fund its obligations fully in 30 years.
The changes at the California Public Employees’ Retirement
System, known as Calpers, overhaul its so-called smoothing and
amortization of assets, and will be used to set contribution
rates for state agencies, schools and local governments
beginning in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday is expected to rule on whether the city of Stockton, California is eligible for bankruptcy protection, a key milestone in a case likely to set critical precedents for cash-strapped U.S. cities, their employees and their bondholders.
The decision follows a three-day trial last week in which the city argued it had no choice but to file for bankruptcy after the financial meltdown devastated local tax revenues and harsh budget cuts still left the city with a $26 million shortfall.