Governor Jerry Brown did not find one spending item to cut when he approved the state budget. This is a rare occurrence. In fact, you have to go way back to 1982 to find a governor who did not veto a single item in the budget. That governor was one Jerry Brown in the last year of his first go-around as chief executive. Could it be he made the decision not to cut from the new budget because the overall budget is projected to be slightly smaller than the most recent state budget?

I’m not talking about the General Fund. A distinction must be made here. If you use the General Fund as a measure of state spending, it has exploded during Brown’s most recent governorship.

The General Fund is the heart of the state spending plan and it has grown to the largest in the state’s history at $122.6 billion. That’s 5.5% greater than last year and 42% greater than when Brown took over as governor in 2011.

But the overall budget is down from the last budget by a small amount (relatively speaking: $820 million) mostly due to reduction in bond funds and special funds. The bond funds dropped from $7.8 billion to $3 billion, special funds dropped by $2.5 billion.

The state budget stands at nearly $171 billion. The total consists of a General Fund of $122.6 billion, special funds of $45 billion, and bond funds of $3 billion.

But as they say on those late night TV commercials: ‘But wait, there’s more!’

Federal funds add about $92 billion to bring the state expenditure to $262.6 billion. (Federal funds are down as well by about $8 billion.) Here’s a little perspective. The European Union, which just saw the United Kingdom wave goodbye last week, has an annual budget of about $170 billion.

There’s still some action to come on budget related trailer bills including important measures that have to do with housing. $400 million is set aside for affordable housing but it needs legislative agreement on the governor’s plan to streamline development projects. Resistance to the governor’s plan has surfaced because removing legal and procedural roadblocks to project approval would make it easier to build. Some local governments and environmental groups are opposed to the state involving itself in local developments. Business generally supports the governor’s plan.

In addition, an agreement seems near on taking $2 billion from the Proposition 63 tax for the mentally ill to use for homeless with mental illness. A two-thirds vote is required but Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes announced agreement on the fund shift. It makes sense in dealing with the homeless problem as I argued previously.

Looking at the budget, all seems well. But, if I may once again borrow that late night advertising line, ‘Wait, there’s more” to consider.

The seemingly strong budget only winked at the debt shadow that is lurking over the state. As State Senator John Moorlach put it when the General Fund budget was approved, “we should all be concerned that the budget only pays lip service to the hundreds of billions in debt and unfunded liabilities that California has accrued between 2002 and 2012.”

Ultimately, California’s economy and fiscal health will depend on state leaders tackling and solving the state’s debt and liability issues.