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Lawmakers Back at Square One with Budget Issues

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Aired 5/20/09

California voters rejection of the ballot measures puts the budget crisis back into the hands of the governor and state lawmakers.

California voters have soundly rejected five of the six measures on the special election ballot. That puts the budget crisis back into the hands of the governor and state lawmakers. Steve Shadley has reaction to yesterday's vote.

One group that was involved in defeating the measures is the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. John Coupal, with the group, says voters have sent a message that they've had enough.

"What the voters are saying is we send you more money than virtually every state in the union. Learn how to spend it wisely. They are saying don't try to fool us with fake budget reform," Coupal says.

The ballot measures were intended to raise or shift a total of six-billion dollars to help California balance its budget. They would have allowed the state to borrow against the lottery and would have capped state spending. The only proposal that voters passed was 1F, which bans lawmakers and other elected officials from getting pay raises when the state is running a deficit.

"Budget Reform Now" is the campaign that urged voters to say "Yes" to the propositions. It conceded defeat shortly after the polls closed ast night. Spokesman Bill Houck was disappointed.

"The voters are angry and they're frustrated. They've finally concluded that politicians in Sacramento aren't getting the job done," he says.

Governor Schwarzenegger already released his plan to deal with the state's $21 billion cash shortage-including deep cuts to schools. He's also considering transferring thousands of illegal immigrants from state to federal custody to cut spending in the corrections department. And, the governor wants to try to sell off some state property.

Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet with the governor to talk about their next move this afternoon.

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