But it appears the measure wouldn't have helped matters all that much. The Legislative Analyst's Office announced Wednesday that California's deficit is actually double what lawmakers predicted before the election, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Over the next 20 months, the gap between state revenue and expenditures will reach a whopping $25 billion.
Legislative analyst Mac Taylor is urging state lawmakers to consider both cutting services and raising taxes. That's going to be a difficult task for legislators, however, because the passage of Proposition 22 during last week's elections means that $800 million in certain transportation and local government funds will be frozen and unavailable to help bridge budget shortfalls.
Closing the gap "is going to be much, much more difficult than last [fiscal] year," Taylor told the Chronicle, which is why a number of lawmakers have called for a special legislative session in the last few weeks of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's term. The meeting is a possibility, a spokesman for the governor said.
"We think it is going to take time," Taylor said. "The problem is just too large."
Perhaps Taylor is wise not to set the bar too high. Just last month, lawmakers were 100 days overdue in passing a budget allocating $86.5 billion in general fund spending -- far too late to solve the $19 billion deficit that was believed to exist at the time.
Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.
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