But these are not necessarily flush times, warn the liberal policy advocates who normally would be urging Brown to put the surplus into new government services.
They see two strong headwinds they expect Brown to cite when he reveals a budget that salts away revenue and avoids expensive commitments.
Sacramento is largely drawing residents from the California coast, especially Los Angeles and the Bay Area, according to separate U.S. Census Bureau figures for the 2016 calendar year. The three counties sending the most residents to the Sacramento region in 2016 were Los Angeles, Alameda and Santa Clara. Housing costs are likely behind a lot of the moves. It is much cheaper to live in Sacramento than it is to live in Los Angeles or the Bay Area.
The local picture is not much better, according to data released through Stanford University in October. Funded in part by a nonprofit that advocates pension reform and conducted by Joe Nation, a former Democratic assemblyman who is now with the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the study found that the city of Sacramento has more than doubled its contribution to CalPERS in the past nine years, going from $42.4 million in 2008 to $88.2 million in 2017. Sacramento’s pension costs are expected to reach about $150 million by 2022.
Statewide unemployment also fell sharply in November, to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent a month earlier. The 4.6 percent statewide rate is the lowest since 1976, according to data compiled by economist Sung Won Sohn of CSU Channel Islands. The EDD said California employers added 47,400 workers to their payrolls last month. Although much of the job growth in November was seasonal, as employers geared up for the holidays, the new numbers also dovetail with other signs that the economy has been continuing to perk along in recent months.
If they get a chance, a majority of California voters would repeal the new statewide gas tax that went into effect last month. A new poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found 52 percent of likely voters would support an initiative repealing California’s recent increases in gas taxes and vehicle license fees, while 46 percent said they “strongly” support repealing the charges.