Trigger Cuts Focus on Healthcare, Education

Although the state's Department of Finance is expecting a strong fiscal finish to 2011, California may enact trigger cuts to healthcare and education.

"So in December, the Department of Finance, which is a part of the governor's shop, will look at the state's numbers to determine whether they have to pull the trigger …," said California State Controller John Chiang.

"If we are about a $1 billion-plus short, we'll look at cuts to UC, Cal State and some healthcare programs." Chiang said. "If we are in excesses of $2 billion short of where the revenue estimates were originally projected to be, we're going to look at massive hits to K-12 education."

The cuts will be "subject to determination" by the Department of Finance, Chiang said. Underlining conditions, past revenues and fiscal projections will be considered, said the controller.

"The back half of this fiscal year is supposed to be stronger, but if we see more tumult as we witnessed with the stock market this week, that could raise greater concerns for the back half of this year," he said.

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