SACRAMENTO -- For nearly six years, California finances were so weak that officials needed to constantly shuffle money between state accounts to ensure there was enough cash to pay bills on time. They would take money out of one fund, use it to cover costs and promise to pay it back later.
But California has finally broken that cycle, the state controller’s office announced on Wednesday. April was the first month since around the time the recession started that officials did not need internal borrowing to pay the bills.
“We’ve reached an important milestone in California’s economic recovery,” Controller John Chiang said in a statement.
He cautioned that “there remains significant debt that must be shed before we can claim victory.”
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration estimates that, as of June, the state will owe roughly $28 billion to cover external borrowing and repay money owed to local governments, schools and other programs.
The announcement from the controller’s office is another sign California’s finances are improving. The latest numbers from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office show the state has $4.5 billion more tax revenue than expected in the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30.
Brown is scheduled to release his revised budget plan, which covers the fiscal year starting July 1, on Tuesday.