California Common Sense (CACS) released a brief analyzing how the State’s final budget has changed since 2007-08, the last time the budget was balanced. The state projects that its 2013-14 revenues will be $137 billion, $8.9 billion (7.0%) greater than the revenue it expected in 2007-08. Sill, funding for most services is expected to be lower due to growing health care costs, outstanding debt, and rising retirement obligation costs. Accompanying the brief is a data visualization that allows users to easily explore both budgets by department and agency.

Failing to address the state’s core structural challenges such as growing retirement benefit debt and rapidly rising health costs does not help protect the existence and quality of key services. It’s the opposite. Ignoring those worsening problems places services even more at the mercy of boom-and-bust budgeting.

The following are among the report’s findings:

Access the brief here, the fact sheet here, and the data and visualization here.

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