Thanks to Proposition 25 we have an on-time, balanced budget — or so we are told. The truth is we have a budget document that any respectable college professor would grade “incomplete”– at best.

Many budget related bills have yet to pass.  We don’t know the extent of the cuts in some areas. We don’t know what revenues the state government will have to spend.

To the legislators who voted “aye” on this budget document, spending and revenue issues are minor details, I guess. Legislators are still negotiating with the governor over spending provisions.

As to revenue, last year, the budget was “balanced” with $4 billion in imaginary dollars. This year the budget is supposedly balanced with a questionable tax increase vote that is months away before we know if those dollars are coming — about the same time on the calendar when the imaginary $4 billion was supposed to turn up last year.

Maybe this is the year those dollars from an increased economy will come. We read that housing values have turned around in both Northern and Southern California and that unemployment has dropped. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the tax measure failed but the budget was saved by a solid upturn in the economy?

Or is that more wishful thinking?

The budget was a product of the Big Three. Not the triumvirate of basketball players who play for the Miami Heat.  The budget big three: the governor, assembly speaker and senate president pro tempore did the job in relative secrecy.

Truth be told, we won’t know if we have a balanced budget for months. While the majority party legislators tells us that they completed their constitutional duty of passing the budget, what we have is an incomplete budget. We won’t have the final budget document until after the November elections. The historical record says if you bet against it being balanced you’d clean up.

The only thing that is certain about budget-related matters is that the legislators will be paid. For all the chatter by Prop 25 supporters during the campaign about improving the budget process, assuring payment for legislators is about all it accomplished. Thank you, Prop 25.