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Schwarzenegger to name Ana Matosantos as new state finance director

December 14, 2009 |  2:13 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will name Ana Matosantos as his next finance director, administration officials said this afternoon.

Matosantos, who holds the No. 2 post in the Finance Department, will be crucial in shaping – and trying to balance – California’s deficit-plagued budget during the governor’s final year in office. She will take over as the state faces an estimated $20.7-billion budget deficit through June 2011.

Schwarzenegger has predicted more across-the-board cuts as he draws up his next budget proposal, to be rolled out in early January.

Matosantos, a 34-year-old Democrat, will be Schwarzenegger’s fourth budget director, following the departure of Mike Genest, a Republican who has held the post since late 2005.

She received plaudits from Capitol denizens during last summer’s extensive budget hearings, as she endured weeks of grilling from frustrated lawmakers. She steadily defended the administration’s controversial solutions to the deficit, including a significant scaling back of California’s welfare program.

Matosantos has held a variety of roles in the Schwarzenegger administration since 2004, including at the Health and Human Services Agency.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento