(Bloomberg) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that the state has a record $97.5 billion operating surplus, with $49.2 billion that can be used for any purpose.

The discretionary spending figure surpasses the staggering $38 billion that lawmakers had at their disposal during the previous budget season, then considered the biggest.

The Democrat, running for re-election this year, unveiled the windfall as he presented his $227.4 billion budget for the next fiscal year. The surplus is “simply without precedent,” he said during his presentation Friday.

The most-populous U.S. state is benefiting from soaring tax collections from its highest earners, thanks to a progressive tax system that rakes in more revenue when income rises for its wealthiest residents. That group has reaped the benefits of rising stock prices and stable employment even as many lower-income workers lost their jobs in the pandemic. 


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