Budget Aides Downplay Shortfall in State’s General Fund Revenue
Assembly budget aides are downplaying California's lower than projected budget revenues for the current fiscal year but say the state still could be forced to enact triggered cuts to health care, human services and education programs, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Yamamura, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/3).
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed an $86 billion state budget plan in June.
Lawmakers relied on an assumption that the state would receive $4 billion in new revenue over what previously was expected through June 2012.
If officials determine that revenue has fallen $1 billion short of expectations for this fiscal year, additional cutsÂ could take place automatically. Most cuts would become effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Additional cuts could include:
- $100 million from services for individuals with developmental disabilities; and
- $100 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities (California Healthline, 10/11).
According to the state Department of Finance, revenue was $654 million below projections for the first quarter of the fiscal year. State Controller John Chiang (D) placed the revenue shortfall at $705 million.
Around mid-November, the state Legislative Analyst's Office is expected to issue its financial forecast for the remainder of the fiscal year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Next month, the state Department of Finance alsoÂ will release its fiscal outlook (Gardner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/3).
Views From Assembly Budget Aides
Assembly budget aides suggest that finance officials placed too much emphasis on the portion of revenue brought in during the first few months of the fiscal year, according to a legislative memo.
The aides believe the economy has improved since the summer.
The memo adds that the prospect for triggered cuts will have more to do with the financial forecasts for the second half of the fiscal year than with objective data in hand.
The aides believe California could face a budget deficit of between $5 billion and $8 billion next fiscal year ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/3).
AdvocatesÂ Concerned With Prospect of Trigger Cuts
Meanwhile, patient advocates are concerned with the prospect of additional cuts.
Carlos Flores -- executive director of the San Diego Regional Center -- said reimbursement rates for hundreds of service providers in San Diego County could be affected by the trigger cuts.
David Schneider -- president of Arc of San Diego, which provides services for residents with disabilities -- said the cuts could cost the program as much as $600,000.
Ellen Schmeding -- assistant director for the county's Aging and Independence Services -- said IHSS would be especially affected by the trigger cuts. She said workers could be forced to reduce the number of hours they spend with IHSS beneficiaries (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.