- Brown's leaning on $1 billion in projected revenue from the state's "cap and trade" program for the coming fiscal year, despite the fact that a wide range of legal challenges may delay or prevent the program's implementation.
- The governor wants to spend nearly $300 million paid out by banks in a settlement over their foreclosure practices to paper over part of the current deficit. That may help stem the tide of red ink this year, but the money is a one-time infusion that won't be available when California hits its next budget crisis (which it inevitably will without deeper structural reform).
- Liberal interests hoped that the IPO for Silicon Valley-based Facebook could be a deus ex machina for the state's budget problems, with Brown himself estimating between $1.4 and $1.9 billion in new state revenue as a result. But as a report from ABC News notes, the stock's shaky performance is already causing jitters in Sacramento, partially because it's already trading at four dollars a share lower than the figure Brown used for his estimates. And as one legislative analyst notes in the piece, "The potential hit from Facebook's share price is nothing compared to the potential damage from a broader stock slump."
It has now become routine for California to resort to these sorts of Hail Mary passes every time the state's budget woes become explicit. The Golden State's leaders ought to remember that the hallmark of that play is how infrequently it works.