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Governor Puts Pressure on Lawmakers with a Deficit Clock

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Aired 4/19/09

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had some harsh words for lawmakers in a hastily called news conference Wednesday.  He says the current year deficit has grown and he chastised lawmakers for not fixing the problem.  Jenny O'Mara reports.

Governor Schwarzenegger is calling the legislature's inability to address the state's budget deficit a 34e "shameful performance".  He says the state's fiscal problems are growing worse by the minute…

Schwarzenegger:  "As a matter of fact our budget situation, our budget deficit is not anymore 11-point-two billion dollars, it is now fourteen point eight billion dollars…"

To remind lawmakers of the growing deficit, Schwarzenegger unveiled a clock that will stand outside his office in the Capitol.  He says it shows how much the state is losing by legislators' inaction.

Schwarzenegger: "I call on the legislators to be leaders, to negotiate, to compromise and to come to the table and to come to a conclusion here and to solve this problem once and for all."

Schwarzenegger has proposed both tax increases and spending cuts to address the problem.  He's called lawmakers into another special session this month to deal with the budget.

In response to the Governor's comments, Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill said bullying the legislature to adopt tax hikes will only make budget problems worse.

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