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Gov.: More cuts to education, health care

May 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
California voters overwhelmingly rejected five ballot measures designed to ease the state's budget crisis. Each of the five ballot measures went down by landslide margins with about 2/3 voting no./*Proposition 1F*/, which prevents certain state officials from receiving pay raises when California has a budget deficit, has passed. Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E have been rejected.

The governor has made contingency plans knowing that the propositions would likely fail. He has already called for deeper cuts to education, including public schools and colleges, and to health care. He also wants to turn over thousands of undocumented inmates to ICE to help ease some of the costs.

Voters did not turn out in mass Tuesday, only about 19 percent statewide and in L.A. County. It was one of the lowest voter turnouts on record for a /*special election*/.

About 65 percent of voters rejected 1A, which would have extended tax increase for at least one year. In February, state lawmakers voted to raise state income tax, sales tax, and vehicle taxes to balance the budget and cut spending.

The tax increases have not been enough, plunging tax revenue has made /*California's budget deficit" even worse. It's now projected to hit $21 billion for the fiscal year beginning in July. The governor says he may have to give lay off 5,000 state workers, shorten the school year by a week, and get money from local governments.

A large number of Californians say they're fed up with paying higher taxes.

"People need to live within their means. I have to live within mine, you have to live within yours," said Michael Reagan, former President Ronald Reagan's son. "The government has to learn to live within its means, and this is what this is all about. We can't afford higher taxes anymore."

"No more, no more. I'm fed up with taxes here. We're the highest state taxpayers," said voter Meier Mizrahi.

/*Gov. Schwarzenegger*/, who had urges voters to vote yes on the measures, issued the following statement:

"We have heard from the voters and I respect the will of the people who are frustrated with the dysfunction in our budget system. Now we must move forward from this point to begin to address of fiscal crisis with constructive solutions."

The governor and state lawmakers are meeting in Sacramento Wednesday to discuss their options.

In Los Angeles, voters have elected /*Carmen Trutanich*/ as city attorney, replacing Rocky Delgadillo, who is out due to term limits. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Trutanich beat /*City Councilman Jack Weiss*/ with 57 percent of the vote.

Weiss lost despite having the support of both Los Angeles /*Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa*/ and LAPD /*Chief William Bratton*/.

Trutanich finished second to Weiss in the March election, but received enough votes to force the run-off election. The election capped a contentious race in which both candidates spent more time attacking each other than explaining what they would bring to the office of city attorney.

The L.A. City Council seat for District 5, which was Weiss' old seat, went to /*Paul Koretz*/, with 51 percent, to David Vahedi's 49 percent. The 5th District covers most of the city's west side and parts of the San Fernando Valley.

Democrat /*Curren Price Jr.*/ took the 26th District State Senate seat with 70 percent of the vote. The seat was left vacant when Mark Ridley-Thomas moved to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

A runoff is likely for California's 32nd Congressional District because none of the 12 candidates received at least 50 percent of the vote. Judy Chu was in the lead with 32 percent, followed by fellow Democrat Gil Cedillo with 23 percent.

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