Calif. resurgent under Brown, but spending a worry

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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is drawing praise for his political maneuvering in closing a $25 billion budget deficit and restoring some of California's financial luster.

The state's credit rating is rebounding and schools are expecting an infusion of money this fall.

Yet Brown's legacy remains uncertain as he finishes his third term and prepares for a re-election run for a fourth and final one.

The $6 billion a year in sales and income tax increases he persuaded voters to approve last fall will be expiring by the end of his possible fourth term in 2019, leaving the same type of budget headaches he inherited. In addition, about $200 billion in unfunded public pension and retiree health care liabilities remain.

He also is pushing two public infrastructure projects — a high-speed rail line and freeway-sized water tunnels — that will cost more than $90 billion.

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