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Voters May Decide If Calif. Can Take Local Money

— Voters may get the chance to decide whether the state government can take local money to cover California's budget deficit. A coalition of local agencies in California has collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

More than 1.1 million signatures have been gathered in support of the Local Taxpayer Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act. The constitutional amendment would prevent the state from borrowing money designated for local use.

San Diego officials say California took more than $280 million from the region last year.

San Diego Councilman Tony Young said citizens have repeatedly voted to stop this practice but the state isn't listening.

"These raids and proposed raids come at a time when cities, counties, and special districts like MTS, are already reeling from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," he said.

Initiative supporters say the state government must get its budget in line instead of taking money from local governments.

The Secretary of State must certify the measure by June 24 to get it on the November ballot.

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