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Saldaña Says CA Deficit Forces Hard Choices

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Aired 6/11/09

San Diego Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña says taking money from cities and counties isn’t the first option for state lawmakers trying to balance California’s budget. But as KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains, Saldaña says no matter what happens local programs will be hurt.

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Above: Reporter Katie Orr talks with San Diego Week host Gloria Penner about San Diego's projected budget shortfall and how the City Council managed to keep most municipal services intact.

— San Diego Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña says taking money from cities and counties isn’t the first option for state lawmakers trying to balance California’s budget. But as KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains, Saldaña says no matter what happens local programs will be hurt.

The Chairwoman of San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors says the state may take as much as $800 million slated for local use. The Board has sent a letter to the area’s state delegation urging members to leave the money alone. Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña says the San Diego delegation has sent a letter in response saying they’d prefer not to take the money.

“On the other hand, if we have to cut programs in Sacramento it will impact your programs at the local level too. So we’re trying to find a balance between those options,” she says.

Saldaña says legislators are also considering ways to fix California’s structural budget problems. For instance, she says the law currently requires a 2/3 majority in both houses to approve a budget. She’d like to see that changed to 55 percent.

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