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Schwarzenegger budget slashes education, releases prisoners


Schwarzenegger budget slashes education, releases prisoners

By AARON C. DAVIS Associated Press Writer

Article Last Updated: 01/10/2008 06:08:45 PM PST

SACRAMENTO—Facing a ballooning deficit and a shaky economy, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday proposed an enormous pullback in state spending that will affect nearly all areas of government service, from classrooms to parks to dental care for the poor.

Schwarzenegger announced the cuts as he seeks to close a $14.5 billion shortfall and, for the first time, declared a state fiscal emergency that will force lawmakers to begin immediate work on the budget mess.

Schwarzenegger's $141 billion budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year proposes cutting 10 percent from every state agency, even as California struggles to provide for millions of new residents, fix failing schools and address myriad problems in its overcrowded prisons.

The across-the-board spending cut is the kind of draconian tactic his Republican Party colleagues have long sought to realign state spending and revenue.

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