California revenues dropped below projections again in July, pushing the state closer to "drastic trigger cuts" to public education, Controller John Chiang said Tuesday.
Chiang reported that tax revenues were $538.8 million—10.3 percent below projections included in the state budget, which predicated a growth economy.
The budget has built-in “triggers” for cuts if the revenues don’t flow. If the state comes up $2-billion short, it will start cutting school funding and other services.
The education cuts would kick in if finance officials determine revenue to be $2 billion or more below expectations as of December, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. If enacted, the $1.5 billion in school reductions could shrink the academic year by as many as seven days in some districts.
If revenue falls $1 billion below expectations, community college fees will rise by $10 per unit, in-home care for disabled and elderly Californians would be reduced further, and state grants for local libraries would be eliminated, among other measures.
"While July's revenues performed remarkably similar to last year's, they still did not meet the budget's projections," said Chiang. "While we hope for better news in the months ahead, every drop in revenue puts us closer to the drastic trigger cuts that could be imposed next year."