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Wary State Treasurer Is Bullish On Economy

Aired 9/30/11 on KPBS News.

Pension Reform Supporters Turn In Thousands Of Signatures

Bill Lockyer opened the South County Economic Development Council summit talking about California's economy. He acknowledged the state is dealing with some steep economic hurdles, and it will be consumers who lead the state out of the economic doldrums.

Wary State Treasurer Is Bullish On Economy
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"Almost three fourths of our economy is consumer spending," said Lockyer. "So, when they can't afford to buy a new refrigerator or a new suit or whatever, it ripples through the entire economy. For California, we've had a particularly hard hit on construction."

Lockyer remained bullish on the state's future. He says California has manageable debt, and the state continues to be an innovation engine.

However, California has some difficult times ahead if state revenue collections don't pick up. Falling short of revenue goals in December will mean automatic and sweeping state funding cuts.

"Unfortunately if they don't that means there will be automatic triggers of additional cuts in all the programs, health care, higher education, K-12 schools, community colleges," he said.

That could complicate efforts to keep the economy from sliding back into another recession, according to Lockyer.

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