Amid the shock over the Legislative Analyst’s Office announcement yesterday that California is staring down the barrel of a 25 billion dollar deficit, hangs the question: Wouldn’t it have been good for the voters to have had this information before the election?

Certainly, part of the deficit calculation made by the LAO was created by the voters with their decisions on ballot initiatives. The LAO reported, for instance, that passing Proposition 22 to protect local revenue opened an $800-million hole in the state budget.

However, there is plenty of budget analysis that was certain before the election and could have been reported before Election Day.

Like many in California, I hold the Legislative Analyst’s Office in the highest regard. And I understand that even if this report were made before the election it might have been lost in campaign rhetoric. But, the legislature is only one of the governing bodies at work in California. The voters making decisions on ballot measures are also policy makers.

Information delivered by the Analyst yesterday could have been used by voters in making decisions at the polls — both in what measures they might approve and who they would elect to office to deal with the gapping budget hole.

In future election years, the annual LAO November budget forecast might be moved to October to give that second group of policy makers, the voters, more information they can use at the polls.