Only Taxpayers Can Prevent State From Going Broke Again: Controller

California could be broke again as early as spring

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Smokey the Bear may be the inspiration behind the state controller's new message to Californians. Photo: Al HikesAZ on Flickr

    State Controller John Chiang is channeling Smokey the Bear to get his message out to California.

    “Only you can prevent history from repeating this year,” Chiang wrote in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warning the state could be forced to issue IOUS and defer some taxpayer refunds again this year.

    Chiang says once the weather in the state starts to warm up again, the state will not be able to pay its bills even if legislators give in to all the governator's budget fix demands.

    Just how short will the state be come spring? About $2 billion, according to Chiang and he says things could get worse if lawmakers stall again on a spending plan.