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The budget news remains downbeat, but the state Department of Finance reported Monday that the state's revenue gap is less than what Controller John Chiang said last week.

The state is $1.275 billion behind in revenues for the first four months of the fiscal year, or 5.1 percent. Chiang said last week that the gap was $1.5 billion, or 6.2 percent. Department of Finance totals typically vary because of a delay in when agencies report their cash totals to the controller.

For the month of October alone, Finance said the state was $608 million short, or 10.5 percent.

Under the budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California must impose mid-year cuts if forecasters believe the state will fall at least $1 billion in revenues by the end of June 2012. The latest Finance report emphasized that the forecasts will take into account not only the existing four-month gap, but what economists believe will transpire over the next eight months.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office is expected to release its forecast later this week.


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