In an era of uncertainty, Californians have at least one constant truth at which to grasp: the state was, is, and will be stone broke.
State revenue was below projected expectations for the third straight month in September, to the tune of $302 million, according to state Controller John Chiang. That puts the state off-budget by a total of $705.5 million for the fiscal year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported -- and there's nine more months of the fiscal year to go.
Fiscal years for state and local budgets typically begin July 1.
State revenues include taxes as well as fees, paid on everyday times such as your home and automobile to cigarettes and business licenses. September, however, is the largest revenue month before December, Chiang reminded.
The Department of Finance painted a rosier picture, saying that the ever-dour Chiang counts revenue in a way that does not necessarily show all of the state's cash on hand. Still, the situation is dead-serious, as a revenue shortfall triggers a round of automatic budget cuts under the most recent state finance situation approved by the Legislature, the Chronicle noted.
Two rounds of automatic "trigger" budget cuts occur if the state's revenue forecast is short by $1 billion and $2 billion, respectively.