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Calif. Treasurer: Public Works Projects Could Come to Halt

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Aired 4/19/09

Local government officials are bracing for more economic troubles following the state treasurer's word public works projects around California could come to a halt in a matter of days.  Jenny O'Mara reports.

In his presentation to state lawmakers Monday, Treasurer Bill Lockyer listed a slew of projects that could stop-everything from bridge and highway work to traffic light synchronization.   The reason is the state can't sell bonds to pay for the work. Chris McKenzie is with the League of California Cities.   He says losing such projects is damaging to local economies.

McKenzie:  "There are going to be a lot of construction jobs-people in construction jobs who will be laid off. Those are people who buy goods and services and pay sales taxes when they do."

A decision on whether to fund those projects could be made next week by state finance officials.  Meanwhile, State Controller John Chiang had more grim news. He says November revenues are down-that means California could run out of cash even sooner than expected -- in February.

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