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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-23-10 05:55 PM
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State trims deficit, but key cuts delayed
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(02-23) 04:00 PST Sacramento - --

The California Legislature began chipping away at the state's $20 billion budget deficit, passing $2.8 billion in cuts, fund shifts and other solutions, though political wrangling held up about an additional proposed $2.2 billion Monday evening.

The Legislature was facing a deadline to respond to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's call for midyear budget cuts. He asked for about $8.9 billion in cuts and other changes to the budget over the next 16 months, but the Legislature was considering a package of bills worth about $5 billion. Lawmakers will not take up cuts to education and social services until later in the year.

Some of the most significant changes approved by the Legislature included an $811 million reduction in funding for prisoner medical costs, a 5 percent cut in state employee payroll, saving $182 million by turning over illegal immigrants in state jails to the federal government and $228 million by suspending some mandates for local governments and deferring certain payments to them.

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