The governor says California’s budget deficit will reach a staggering $34.8 billion dollars over the next 18 months. Davis says that gap is too wide to bridge without raising taxes.
The unprecedented deficit equals more than $1,000 for each of the state’s 34 million residents. It exceeds the entire general fund budget of every state but New York.
Davis says the problem is so big that the state doesn´t have a lot of time for hand wringing. Today, he urged lawmakers to pass quickly $10.2 billion in cuts he proposed early this month. He says he’ll release his plan to fill the deficit’s remaining two-thirds when he submits his proposed 2003 to 2004 fiscal year budget in January. He says that proposal will likely include tax and fee increases.