Gov. Jerry Brown's Department of Finance reported Wednesday that state revenues were $230 million behind fiscal-year expectations in the recently enacted budget.
That's a smaller amount than the $351 million gap that Controller John Chiang found after counting May and June revenues. The Controller's Office and Finance use different accounting methods.
Both reports show that revenues are running behind, however slightly, compared to the optimistic projections that lawmakers and Brown relied upon to close a remaining $9.6 billion deficit last month. Either way, the gap represents less than 2 percent of the $12.6 billion the state received in June.
Finance said that its own reported shortfall would have been smaller if the state had transferred $145 million in unclaimed property revenues. That would have whittled the gap down to $85 million.
Asked about the optimistic projections that state leaders relied upon, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said Wednesday that "I'm a little more skeptical personally, but I don't have any special knowledge that would try to give you a solid answer."
He said it was less likely the state would fall so far behind that it would ask K-12 districts to cut the school year by seven days. But he said he could see a smaller "trigger" cut that would slash another $100 million out of each university system, raise community college fees and cut corrections and In-Home Supportive Services.
"I guess my conclusion about that is, I won't be surprised if the trigger gets pulled, but I'm not sure it'll be the big trigger," he said. "It's more likely that it will be the smaller one. That's just the best you can guess given the current revenue numbers. We look every day. There's regular discussions with Finance, the Controller's Office and mine to try to monitor that trend. You'd have to say at this point the jury's out."