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Schwarzenegger Releases Austere 2008-09 Fiscal Plan


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has released a $144.3 billion state budget that eliminates a massive deficit by selling lottery bonds and cutting billions in state programs.

The spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July is austere. That’s a byproduct of a slowing state economy. The governor is backing away from a plan to have deeps cuts in the state's school budget, but cuts will have to be made. 

Schwarzenegger : Because Health and Human Services is the second largest part of the budget, this is where a lot of the cuts had to come from. I know this is going to be very difficult and very painful. This is why I had a hard time making those cuts. But the absolute bottom line is we cannot spend money that we don’t have.

The governor hopes to raise $15 billion over the next three years by selling bonds based on anticipated lottery revenue.

He will use about $5.1 billion of that in the 2008-09 fiscal year to help erase the state’s deficit. The other $10 billion would remain in a reserve fund the governor wants to create to help the state get through rough financial times in the future.

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