The basic budget problem currently facing the state involves an unfunded gap of slightly over $17 billion. Most of this—$15 billion—represents an ongoing projected structural imbalance between current-law revenues and expenditures in 2004-05 and beyond. A key element of the Governor's plan is the assumed approval of a $15 billion economic recovery bond on the March 2004 statewide ballot to pay off the accumulated 2002-03 budget deficit and help address the remaining budget shortfall. Our own evaluation of the proposal indicates that even if all of its elements were adopted, 2004-05 would end with a General Fund deficit of $0.8 billion. We further project that an ongoing General Fund structural deficit of close to $7 billion would exist beyond the budget year, absent corrective action.
[PDF] California Spending Plan 2004-05: The Budget Act and Related LegislationReport Nov 14, 2003
California's Fiscal Outlook: LAO Projections, 2003-04 Through 2008-09Report Feb 19, 2003
State Fiscal Picture 2003-04