Gov. Jerry Brown signs measure to boost state's cash flow
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday expanding the state's ability to borrow from dedicated funds to cover day-to-day expenses. The bill is expected to make $865 million available to help keep California from falling into the red in early March.
The state controller warned Tuesday that the state needs to find $3.3 billion to pay its bills and keep a comfortable cash reserve. Administration officials plan to cover the rest of the gap by borrowing money from state universities and delaying reimbursements for doctors providing healthcare through a state program.
The bill passed 54 to 17 in the Assembly and 24 to 14 in the state Senate on Thursday, and some Republicans spoke out against it.
"We’re going to rob from Peter to pay Paul," said Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego). "To me, this just kicks the can further down the road."
California government includes hundreds of special funds set aside for specific purposes, like transportation or scientific research. The state can tap these accounts for short-term loans to help plug gaps in its budget, and the bill signed Friday increases the total amount available to roughly $21 billion.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown introducing his budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year on Jan. 5. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press