State's Top Financial Officials Suggest Ways To Curb California's Massive Debt

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 14, 2009
The state’s top financial experts say California’s mounting debt is like a huge Pac-Man eating away at the budget. 

They say the state’s poor bond rating means California is paying almost 400-million dollars in interest for every billion it borrows. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
State Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer told the Assembly Budget Committee that California is bleeding money...and it needs first aid. 

They say the state’s poor bond ranking is currently the lowest in the nation and that makes it hard to sell bonds that pay for big projects like bridges and highways. 

Lockyer says the state could improve its borrowing power if lawmakers would pass what he calls a “responsible” spending plan...
Lockyer: “It’s been a dozen years since we had an old fashioned balanced budget. And, there have been internal borrowing and all the internal gimmicks and all the stuff that we’re criticized for and it really is affecting our credit rating...the cost of borrowing and selling our bonds...and so on...”
Legislative Analyst Taylor’s latest estimate puts the state deficit at 21-billion dollars. 

Lawmakers and the governor are expected to tackle the issue after the holidays.