The latest word is that the state budget deficit for next year is up to 14-billion dollars. The legislature’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst recently forecast the gap at close to ten billion.
Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer won’t confirm the amount but says it will be more than expected. He says the state’s financial picture has deteriorated due in part to the housing slump. He says that’s prompting discussions of across-the-board reductions.
“So that one single department, one single agency, one single program doesn’t bear the bulk of the responsibility for closing this budget shortfall…”
Palmer says the Department is also reviewing whether the state’s financial situation constitutes a “fiscal emergency” that would allow the Governor to call a special session of the legislature to address the problem. Schwarzenegger will release his budget proposal in early January.