"This on-time budget provides for today and saves for the future," Brown said. "We're paying off the state's credit card, saving for the next rainy day and fixing the broken teachers' retirement system."

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed California's $108 billion general fund budget in San Diego Friday morning, less than a week after the state legislature approved the spending plan.

"This on-time budget provides for today and saves for the future," Brown said in a prepared statement. "We're paying off the state's credit card, saving for the next rainy day and fixing the broken teachers' retirement system."

This is the earliest a budget deal had been signed in decades, and marks the fourth year in a row the legislature met its constitutional deadline to send a balanced budget to the governor.

Since 2010, the California budget process has become much less dramatic after voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing state budgets to pass on majority votes instead of the previous two-thirds supermajority requirement.

The governor announced a relatively small number of line item vetoes to the spending plan, the total value of which amounted to around $60 million.

The budget, which will go into effect July 1, includes paying off more than $10 billion of what Brown calls California's "Wall of Debt," which includes intrafund borrowings, payment deferrals, and other debt.

This includes paying down the deferral of payments to schools by $5 billion, paying off the outstanding economic recovery bonds, repaying various loans, and funding $100 million in claims that have been owed to local governments since 2004.

The budget also includes making contributions to the State Teachers' Retirement System as part of a plan to eliminate the unfunded liability by 2046, as well as a $1.6 billion deposit into the state rainy day fund.

This will be the first deposit into the fund since 2007. If voters approve Brown's new rainy day fund proposal on the November ballot, the fund is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2017-18.

An $832 million cap and trade expenditure plan was included in the budget, of which $250 million will go toward the state's $68 billion high-speed passenger rail project.

In total, the spending plan for 2014-15 includes $108 billion from the general fund, and around $48 billion from special funds and bond funds, for a combined total of approximately $156 billion.

 

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