Nov 20, 2013 6:22 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's independent legislative analyst is offering a rosier financial forecast for the state than in the last several years.
The analyst says in a report issued Wednesday that the state will have annual operating surpluses approaching $10 billion a year by the 2017-18 fiscal year if current spending and revenue policies remain.
Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor says revenue is expected to grow faster than spending for at least the next five years, giving California a $5.6 billion reserve by July 2015. It's a dramatic turnaround from the multibillion-dollar deficits of a few years ago.
Taylor credits restrained spending by lawmakers, the improving economy and temporary increases in sales and income taxes voters approved last year.
He says California must continue paying down debt, including billions owed to its pension funds.
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