OAKLAND, Calif. Nov 17 California faces a
budget gap of nearly $21 billion over its current and next
fiscal years, according to the state government's budget
watchdog agency, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper said California's Legislative Analyst's
Office would issue an official report on Wednesday with its
The projection comes less than four months after Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers agreed to a budget plan
that closed a deficit of more than $24 billion largely with
deep spending cuts to respond to plunging revenues amid the
worst economic crisis to hit the most populous U.S. state since
the Great Depression.
Schwarzenegger said last week he expects a budget gap for
the rest of the current fiscal year of between $5 billion to $7
billion. His finance advisors had previously said the state
government would see a $7.4 billion gap in the next fiscal year
beginning in July.
But next year's budget shortfall will be much larger than
initially forecast, the Los Angeles Times said. Citing sources
briefed the upcoming report, it said the deficit will be $14.4
(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by John O'Callaghan)