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Jerry Brown weighs in on latest state revenue plunge

November 10, 2011 |  3:48 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday that plummeting state revenues probably portend deeper budget cuts next year, but that it was too early to tell whether that meant additional spending reductions would be necessary before the end of the current fiscal year.

“Definitely, we have a problem,” Brown said in an interview with The Times editorial board. “We will be making some tough choices come January,” when the new budget is released.

State revenues have fallen $1.5 billion short of forecasts during the first four months of the fiscal year, while state spending is $1.7 billion above projected levels, the state controller’s office reported Thursday. 

Lower than anticipated revenue figures could mean billions in additional cuts to public schools, universities and community colleges before the end of the current fiscal year. Those cuts were built into the budget signed by Brown earlier this year in the event that revenues fall short of projected levels.

Whether those cuts are made will be determined by revised revenue projections from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office and the Department of Finance. The analyst’s office is expected to release its revised figures next week. The administration has said its numbers will be out before Dec. 15.

--Anthony York in Sacramento