California budget deficit could grow to $25 billion

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California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger points to a chart as he talks about the State budget during an appearance at City Summit in San Francisco, California in August 2010.

California’s government faces a far larger deficit next year than lawmakers expected. In a report out today the state’s legislative analyst predicts that the budget shortfall will grow to $25 billion.

California’s state government entered this fiscal year $6 billion in the red.

Add to that a $19 billion gap between how much the state plans to spend and how much revenue it hopes to collect and you get a projected $25 billion deficit.

The state’s non-partisan legislative analyst arrived at the number by debunking some of the budget solutions the legislature just passed:

Like $3.5 billion in federal money California’s banking on … even though the federal government has yet to promise it.

The state’s likely to spend a billion more than projected on prisons, and the passage of Prop 22 could prevent lawmakers from realizing nearly a billion dollars in solutions.

California’s budget analyst concludes that a lot of the savings the legislature enacted this year are temporary…so like a pesky weed, government spending will creep back up next year. California’s slow economic recovery hasn’t helped.

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