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How far would California's rainy day fund really go?




SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 23:  California Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a keynote address during the 2011 Pacific Coast Builders Conference on June 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  California Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his address as State legislators scramble to revise a budget that Gov. Brown vetoed.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 23: California Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a keynote address during the 2011 Pacific Coast Builders Conference on June 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his address as State legislators scramble to revise a budget that Gov. Brown vetoed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his final budget proposal Wednesday. In it, he divvies up about $190 billion, providing funds for everything from education to road repair. 

And then there's the rainy-day fund. 

Brown's fiscal plan sets aside an extra $3.5 billion to be used in case of emergency. All-totaled, the state will have about $13.5 billion set aside by mid-2019.

How far could that money go? 

Capitol Bureau Chief for Capital Public Radio Ben Adler says it could help smooth things over in the event of a recession. 

It would soften the fall in the short-term and allow for adjustments. But most experts and budget watchers believe that if and when the next recession hits, some cuts might still be necessary even despite the rainy day fund. It just depends on how deep the recession is. 

Right now, we've got $130 billion in the general fund. Thirteen-billion-dollars in the rainy day fund, I mean, that might get you a year or a couple of years, but not necessarily a whole recession.