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Controller: California Could Face Cash Crunch By March

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – State Controller John Chiang said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that California could run out of cash by early March if the state doesn't come up with $3.3 billion soon.

The move comes as a surprise because the state legislature thought they had enough money to get them through the fiscal year that ends in June.

In his letter, Chiang said that the state is actually more than $5 billion short in cash resources, with tax revenues $2.5 billion less than budget planners had expected. He said spending was also higher than expected by about that same amount.

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

Chiang said that without immediate action, the state will fall below its cushion by the end of February and will dip into the red by March 8.

The state Controller is recommending that lawmakers borrow more money and delay payments to universities, the counties and Medi-Cal, which he said should keep California afloat without IOUs.

He said that more emergency cash maneuvers may be needed if the cash flow doesn't improve in the spring.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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