California Analyst Forecasts One-Time $26 Billion Windfall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst is forecasting a surprise one-time $26 billion windfall in the next budget year. Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek says the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have not been as severe as anticipated. But he warns that eye-popping windfall is solely the result of the state overestimating the $54 billion budget deficit in the current spending plan. He says the state’s ongoing expenses will still exceed its spending commitment. Going forward, the state’s expenses still outweigh its spending commitments. That results in a small operating deficit in the 2021-22 budget that will grow to $17 billion by 2025.