Budget Shortfall Will Be on ‘Higher End’ of $8B-$14B Range, Legislative Analyst Says
Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill told members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy yesterday that California's budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year will be "on the higher end" of the $8 billion to $14 billion range that Gov. Gray Davis (D) has given, the Sacramento Bee reports. Davis has said that a "more precise" shortfall estimate will depend on economic data from October reflecting the effect of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Hill added that the Legislative Analyst's Office will release official estimates Nov. 14. She said that the shortfall would be "enough to easily wipe out the $2.6 billion reserve in this year's budget." The shortfall "almost certainly" will require "major" cuts, she said (Hill, Sacramento Bee, 11/9). Health advocates have speculated that due to the shortfall, Davis could trim or delay new programs or expansions approved during the legislative session that ended in September, such as expanding Healthy Families to include parents (California Healthline, 11/7).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.