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Calif. education may get $2B to $4B cut

October 29, 2008 7:39:36 AM PDT
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California) is calling for a hike in sales tax once more. The governor says California is in a state of emergency and he is also talking about making cuts to schools and law enforcement.Governor Schwarzenegger is poised to push for a temporary one percent sales tax hike when he calls lawmakers back to special session next week. He thinks the worsening housing and economic crises will change the minds of some normally anti-tax Republicans who blocked the same proposal earlier this year. The governor may be pushing to receive about $6 billion more in taxes.

"They will see we are in the state of emergency," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "They will make decisions based on what is best for the people of California."

Anti-tax groups say this is the worst time to raise taxes. They worry the results of next week's election may pressure Republicans to cave.

"If the Republicans lose big next week, then I think it'll be easier to negotiate a tax increase," said Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

However, a tax increase will not cover the entire budget deficit. The governor believes the shortfall is between $5 billion to $8 billion. Some say it's as much as $10 billion. In either case, Governor Schwarzenegger already met with education and law enforcement groups to brace them for immediate cuts.

"It's just the math. It's not me. It's the mathematics that tell you, you have to make cuts," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Education leaders and parents are appalled classrooms are on the chopping block again. Some say it may be difficult to cut back in the middle of the school year.

"There's no meat left on the bone to cut. We cannot take any more money away from our students," said Brian Lewis, Public Schools Financing Expert.

"It sickens me. Our education is everything. If our kids aren't educated, where are we headed?" said Monica Fialho, a concerned mother.

Education could face cuts between $2 billion to $4 billion. It is an easy target because it is 40 percent of the entire state budget.

Other departments are also slated for mid-year cuts.


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