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Schwarzenegger to Address Lawmakers About Budget Gap

Above: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger walks near the U.S. Capitol on May 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

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Above: What are school districts and cities to do as the state's financial crisis shrinks their budgets? Gloria Penner, host of San Diego Week, asks local editors.

— Governor Schwarzenegger will address a rare joint session of the state legislature Tuesday. He’s expected to outline his plans for closing a $24 billion budget gap.

HD Palmer is with the Department of Finance. He says Schwarzenegger will talk about how the state got into a fiscal bind – and the difficult decisions needed to get out of it. Palmer says the Governor will also discuss long-term changes that could come out of the crisis.

“The governor will talk about not only the scope of the problem, the necessity for swift solutions, but also talk about the fact that the crisis that we face actually gives us an opportunity to begin to make some fundamental reform to state government that will last far beyond when we get out of this crisis,” says Palmer.

Schwarzenegger’s plan to balance the budget includes the elimination of several health and welfare programs, pay cuts for state workers and shutting down most state parks.

The Governor is asking lawmakers to come up with a budget deal quickly. The state Controller says California will run out of cash by the end of July.

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