Brown's budget: Calif. rebounding with tax hikes

By By JUDY LIN and JULIET WILLIAMS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Riding a wave of new tax revenue, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a state spending plan that eliminates the deficit and provides $6.3 billion more in spending than the previous year.

The comparatively rosy budget outlook for the coming fiscal year shows the nation's most populous state beginning to turn the corner on an era of deep budget shortfalls and spending cuts to core state programs.

California's persistent budget woes came to symbolize the plight of states struggling through the recession as tax revenue declined steeply, leaving governors and state legislatures around the country little choice but to consider deep cuts or unpopular tax increases.

Brown took both approaches, pushing an austerity message while persuading California voters last fall to approve increases to the state sales tax and income taxes on high-income earners.

The resulting $97.6 billion general fund budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year will send more money to public schools and universities.

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