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Republicans Release Budget Plan That Gives More Funding to Schools

Republican state lawmakers have put out a new budget plan that they say will mean more money for schools.  Governor Schwarzenegger had proposed over four billion dollars in cuts to schools next year to help balance the state budget.  And Republicans say they'd like to cut that roughly in half.  They'd do that by cutting deeper in other areas such as social services or health care.  Assembly GOP leader Mike Villines says education is a priority. 
Villines: We want to put more money, year over year, into education.  We want to honor prop. 98. And we don't' want to see pink slips going out.  We think it's bad for the psychology of California.  We think we can honor all of that and there's no reason to do it.  So it's off the table.  Let's move education off and now get to the broader budget."
Prop. 98 is the voter-approved guarantee that schools get roughly 40 percent of the state's general fund each year.  It can be suspended with a two-thirds vote of the legislature, but Republicans say they don't want to do that. Democrats say while it's a step in the right direction, cutting other areas like health care to fund education isn't the answer.  They say a tax increase is needed to fully fund schools.

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