Finance Director Ana Matosantos issued her statement just as nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor presented his report projecting that California will fall $3.7 billion short in revenues this fiscal year.
Under the June budget deal, the state must impose "trigger" cuts to a variety of education and social services programs if it falls more than $1 billion shy in revenues. To determine the state's revenue picture, Matosantos will use either her own department's forecast or the analyst's, whichever is rosier.
"The LAO report acknowledges the tough work that has been done to cut the state's deficit in half, but that there is more tough work ahead," Matosantos said in a statement. "The budget the Governor signed recognized that economic uncertainty could force the trigger cuts to take effect. Some level of trigger cuts will likely occur, but the exact amount will be known in December."
Matosantos will release her department's forecast by December 15, but her statement today serves as an early acknowledgment that the state is heading toward mid-year cuts. Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said Wednesday that it remains possible that Finance could project as much as $2 billion more or less in revenues than he did.
At his press conference Wednesday, Taylor seemed to discourage lawmakers from taking action to avoid trigger cuts in light of a nearly $13 billion hole staring at them in 2012-13.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ana Matosantos. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua