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Finance Director: Budget Deficit Not So Bad Now

State director of finance Steve Peace told a budget study committee today many Californians have a misconception that a $38 billion deficit still exists. He said that figure of only a few months ago is being reduced to between $4 and $8 billion at the start of the next fiscal year in July, 2004.

Peace appeared at a Los Angeles hearing of the California Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy.

The commission is near the end of a two-year investigation of how California government revenue can be steadied after periods of unexpected big deficits and surpluses in the past decade.

The finance director for Governor Davis noted that governor candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared the state was spending about $29 million more per day than it was taking in. But Peace says the actual figure is a surplus of $6 million in revenue per day compared to what the state is currently spending.