From sister-paper San Jose Mercury, an explanation of how a previously reported $14.5 billion was the state’s projected budget deficit through the end of the next fiscal year, June ’09, became an $8 billion deficit.
“A couple of weeks back, the legislative analyst said that the deficit was actually closer to $16 billion. However, she had actually done her analysis before the state Legislature and Governor took action to reduce the deficit as part of the emergency session. That’s when lawmakers made some program cuts, deferred some cost of living raises to elderly, disabled and welfare families, and the governor borrowed $3.3 billion. The reality, according to the legislative analyst, is that those actions probably have cut her projected deficit of $16 billion in half. So, the most accurate thing to tell readers is that the projected deficit is $8 billion.
That’s an important number because that’s the amount the legislature now needs to come up with (through cuts, more revenue, etc) to balance the budget that they have to submit to the governor in June. It’s also the amount the governor will be seeking to come up with when he presents his revised budget plan in May (known up here as the May Revise). So, bottom line: $16 billion isn’t accurate and it would give readers the false impression that that’s how much the governor and legislator have to cut/raise to to balance the budget, when in fact it’s closer to $8 billion.”