California finances trail behind budget goals
Two months into the new fiscal year, California is straining to meet financial benchmarks laid out in the budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in June.
A Brown administration report released Tuesday said revenues were 2.1% below expectations so far -- $11.04 billion instead of the $11.29-billion goal.
Republicans say the budget is already going off the rails, pointing to a recent report from the state controller saying the state has spent $3 billion more than expected in the new fiscal year.
"This is just further evidence that the Democrat budget was based on phony spending reductions and unrealistic assumptions," said Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) in a statement.
H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance, said the situation is not that dire.
"You cannot take one month worth of revenue data, or even two, and extrapolate a long-term trend," he said.
He reiterated the administration's claim that the revenue shortfall is simply a matter of timing -- casino taxes and profits from the sale of unclaimed property may be coming later than expected.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Opened and discarded envelopes used to mail tax returns to the Franchise Tax Board in Sacramento. Credit: Laura Morton / For The Times