Making The State's Debt Coherent

Assembly member Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, introduced a bill in January requiring the state budget to include and account for an estimated $200 billion in unfunded liabilities. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), these liabilities include pensions and retiree health benefits for state workers, and the construction of new infrastructure. The state is currently not required to account for these liabilities in the budget, which according to Nestande, is a contributor to the state’s fiscal mess.

In the Assembly Budget Committee today, Nestande explained that his bill would put the state’s liabilities into “coherent form.”

Nestande’s Assembly website explains, “this measure would also prohibit the counting of one time sales in the current budget until the sale is complete. Failed budget solutions account for a significant part of the new deficit. For example, the state assumed it was going to receive $1 billion for selling part of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, but this sale failed to happen pushing our state deeper into debt.”

There was no opposition to the bill. Supporting the bill was the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Nestande’s AB 1685 bill passed out of committee with 15 enthusiastic “aye” votes.

-Katy Grimes

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