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Brown's budget plan starts tackling 'wall of debt'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown is promising to chip into what he calls California's massive “wall of debt” in the state budget he is proposing for the coming fiscal year.

Soaring revenue from an improving economy and voter-approved tax increases have put the state in the rare position of having a projected multibillion dollar budget surplus.

While Brown proposes an 8.5 percent boost in spending from the current year's budget, he also takes aim at nearly $355 billion in unfunded liabilities and debts.

His budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year will be released formally Thursday. In it, he dedicates $11 billion to paying down the debts and liabilities, including $6 billion in payments that had been deferred to schools.

Brown also proposes setting aside $1.6 billion for a rainy day fund.

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