Analyst: California faces $13 billion deficit; $2 billion in trigger cuts

An exterior of the state capitol building in Sacramento, California.
An exterior of the state capitol building in Sacramento, California. David Paul Morris/Getty Images

California's nonpartisan budget analyst says the state is projected to face a $13 billion budget shortfall next year. That projection includes $2 billion in savings from trigger cuts.

The Legislative Analyst's Office released a gloomy state fiscal outlook Wednesday. It says tax revenue will fall short of the state's earlier projections, which could trigger midyear cuts to public schools, colleges and health care programs.

The legislative analyst says that the deficit is due to a "slow, arduous recovery." The Legislative Analyst's Office blames weak housing and construction for California's ongoing fiscal woes. One bright spot: Growth in tech services and exports.

Under the current budget, a series of automatic cuts will take effect if the analyst or the governor's Department of Finance project revenue is lower than lawmakers anticipated when they passed the budget last summer. Those automatic cuts include cutting up to a week from the California school year.

The $86 billion state budget was based on a combination of spending cuts, fee hikes and projections of higher tax revenue in the months ahead. Republican lawmakers had warned that the revenue projections were overly optimistic. The state Department of Finance will determine the final amount of the cuts based on its own revenue projections due out by mid-December.

Here is a look at the so-called trigger cuts:

— $100 million to the University of California.

— $100 million to California State University.

— $100 million to the Department of Developmental Services.

— $100 million for In-Home Supportive Services; also imposes a 20 percent reduction in service hours.

— $72.1 million to juvenile justice; increase county charge for youth offenders sent to the adult prison system.

— $30 million by increasing community college fees by $10 per unit.

— $23 million by cutting child care assistance.

— $20 million to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

— $15.9 million in state grants for local libraries.

— $15 million in Medi-Cal cuts; extends a cut to providers in all managed care plans.

— $15 million by eliminating grants to district attorney's offices for a trend referred to as "vertical prosecution."

— $10 million by eliminating IHSS anti-fraud efforts.

If revenue falls short by more than $2 billion, as now appears likely, the following cuts will be made:

— $1.5 billion in K-12 funding, which could reduce the school year by seven days.

— $72 million to community colleges.

— $248 million by eliminating home-to-school transportation.

This story incorporates information from the Associated Press.

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