SURPLUS --- Press conferences at the Legislative Analyst's Office were a bi-annual ritual for me. Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill was typically matter-of-fact in her pronouncements about her office's view of the state's finances. This time, she had a reason to smile: a predicted $10.3 billion surplus for the next fiscal year. Considering the state's fiscal straits since, this may have been the last time anyone laughed about California's budget.
November 15, 2000.