One of the oddities of California is that the surplus or deficit is only announced at the beginning of the year. This year the news is all about what to do with the $4.2 billion "surplus", which is considerably higher than last years "surplus", and last year was the first "surplus" in a decade.
A churlish conservative writer that I had seen claimed that the 2013 "surplus" amounted to -$12.6 billion, which was a bit less in magnitude than the +$15.6 billion "deficit" that had occurred in 2012. This article claims that the actual "surplus" was only -$12.2 billion. During 2012, there was a horrible screech from the state controllers office about inability to make payments, while the Republicans were clearly hell bent on destroying the states finances. 2013 came along with a super-majority, and poof! the deficit was gone and there wasn't a peep from the controller. There seemed to be some plausibility to this, since the stock market has been unnaturally soaring due to the fed, and rich Chinese party members are buying up million dollar properties so that they can contribute property tax. Meanwhile, spending has also been going up.
Another journalist who specializes in California politics noted that the governor simply excluded certain payments from the deficit calculations. For example, payments needed to keep pension funds solvent. Of course my major hope is to witness the Apocalypse first hand, so all this is helping me to remain in a very cheerful mood.