Governor Fears Overspending Despite Budget Windfall

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SACRAMENTO-

Gov. Jerry Brown revised his state budget proposal adding $6.7 billion in spending, thanks to increased revenues since January. But he also warned about creating spending programs that can't be sustained.

Despite higher tax collections in the last five months, Brown was still urging restraint based on recent history. When he took office four years ago, the state had a whopping $20 billion deficit, and he says economic conditions are fickle.

"We know a recession is on the way, it's around the corner. Is it next year, four years from now? It's coming," Brown said.

Most of the new funds, $5.5 billion, go to schools as required by Proposition 98. Proposition 2 also sets aside $1.7 billion for the state's rainy day fund and to pay down debt obligations.

Republicans were generally pleased that the money will go to schools, and that the governor says he won't fund new spending. They still warn about temptations of lawmakers to spend the money on pet projects.

"We all want more things ... it takes responsibility to hold the line," said Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff.

But advocates for the poor say funding taken away from programs during the recession need to be restored.

Several Republican lawmakers say more money needs to be spent on transportation and infrastructure repair. But Democrats are likely to butt heads with the governor over an array of budget items.

"I have a wish list that I've been creating with ideas brought to me...they won't all be funded," said Sacramento Assembly Member Kevin McCarty. He says despite the huge amounts going to education, pre-kindergarten and child care programs he's advocated did not get funded.

He and the governor say there will be negotiations over the budget but Brown says he will resort to his veto powers if presented with legislation that overspends.