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Analysts: Rocky State Political Outlook for 2008

2007 was a year of unfinished business. Remember health care reform and improving the state’s water supply? There was also a very late budget. But analysts say that’s nothing compared to the strug

2007 was a year of unfinished business. Remember health care reform and improving the state’s water supply?  There was also a very late budget.  But analysts say that’s nothing compared to the struggles ahead this year.  Marianne Russ reports.

The obvious challenge is the estimated $14 billion gap in the state budget. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has said it may put a damper on Governor Schwarzenegger’s promised “year of education,” and a Democratic staffer said lawmakers are being advised not to propose expensive bills. 

Jeffe: I don’t see much of anything getting done.

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe is a political analyst at the University of Southern California. She says the budget isn’t the only stumbling block:

Jeffe: Nobody wants to make any hard decisions in an election year. I think everything sort of works against any dramatic reform – any significant progress.

Jeffe says the Republican line against taxes – and the Democratic line against cuts to programs will be very firm because of legislative elections. That’s likely to make the struggle to fill that 14 billion dollar hole even tougher.

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