California’s controller said on Wednesday that he would have to issue IOUs in a week if lawmakers can’t quickly solve a $24 billion budget deficit, and the state’s treasurer plans to tap a reserve fund to meet debt service costs.
The measures came as a budget crisis deepened in the most populous U.S. state and the gridlocked legislature failed to pass a proposed $11 billion in cuts.
“Next Wednesday we start a fiscal year with a massively unbalanced spending plan and a cash shortfall not seen since the Great Depression,” Controller John Chiang said in a statement announcing that he would be forced to use IOUs to pay the state’s bills beginning on July 2.
“The state’s $2.8 billion cash shortage in July grows to $6.5 billion in September and after that we see a double digit freefall,” Chiang said. “Unfortunately, the state’s inability to balance its checkbook will now mean short-changing taxpayers, local governments and small businesses.”