Brown projects Calif. deficit to grow during forum |

Brown projects Calif. deficit to grow during forum

Judy Lin
Associated Press
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated PressGov.-elect Jerry Brown, center, is greeted by well-wishers as he walks through the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. New lawmakers were sworn-in Monday and went into a special session to deal with the state budget crisis.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. and#8212; Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is projecting a budget shortfall of $28.1 billion, higher than earlier estimates of $25.4 billion.

Brown convened a budget forum with state lawmakers and local government officials on Wednesday to “try to get on the same page” about the state’s fiscal problem. He says he doesn’t expect to reach any agreements unless leaders of the diverse state understand the problem.

The dialogue was one he pledged during his campaign and marks a different approach from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after he was elected in 2003.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected a $25.4 billion shortfall through June 2012. Brown released figures that show the state stands to lose another $2.7 billion from potential changes to the federal estate tax.

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