Democratic lawmakers have been hoping for stronger-than-expected revenues so they could avoid making yet another round of budget cuts. But last month's revenues fell more than half a billion dollars short of projections in the governor's January budget proposal. That blueprint estimated a $9.2 billion deficit. This news means the gap could grow larger.
Controller John Chiang calls the revenues "disappointing on almost every front." And even the governor's Finance Department says the numbers are "concerning." Brown's budget crunchers say the recent shortfall comes mostly from lower-than-expected fourth quarter personal income tax receipts. They say that's rare, and they're not sure why - but it's possible the gap will be made up in future quarterly payments. If not, they acknowledge, the state's deficit will go up.