The California Commission on state Finance, a nine-member bipartisan group that provides quarterly general fund forecasts, faces potential elimination after Gov. Pete Wilson cut $532,000 of the commission's funding.

Wilson used his budgetary veto power last week to make the funding cut, which affects the new fiscal year that began July 1.

Administration officials have said the commission is unnecessary because it duplicates budget work conducted by the state Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst's Office.

State Treasurer Kathleen Brown, a Democrat who is expected to seek her party's nomination to challenge the Republican governor next year, questioned Wilson's motive for targeting the commission.

In a statement, she suggested Wilson may have been embarrassed by the commission's forecasts, which on occasion have been more accurate than others in identifying state budget problems.

Brown is chairwoman of the commission, which has prompted some Republicans to claim she also has political motivations for keeping the commission alive.

Putting aside the political aspects, municipal analysts and others have said the commission can provide a valuable perspective.

In the face of daunting fiscal problems, however, Wilson has said the state can no longer afford so many commissions and boards, and the new budget eliminates about 63 advisory groups.

Not all of the cuts will produce savings since some of the groups were inactive already.

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