By JENNIFER MEDINA New York Times
SACRAMENTO — After overcoming years of fiscal dysfunction that stemmed in part from an antitax ballot referendum, Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to call California voters to the ballot again — this time to approve a constitutional amendment requiring that surpluses be used to pay down municipal debt and create an emergency fund.
The proposal comes as the state has ended years of multibillion-dollar budget gaps and is in the midst of another boom, bringing in billions more than it predicted in tax revenue this year and facing a budget surplus even more flush than anticipated just months ago.
As he begins campaigning for what would be an unprecedented fourth term as the state’s governor, Mr. Brown, a Democrat, is eager to play up his frugality, which has helped turn around the state’s era of i.o.u.'s. If he succeeds in his attempt to create a permanent contingency fund, it would be a crowning achievement in his efforts to right the state’s finances.
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