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California Democrats vote to cut programs

March 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM
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SACRAMENTO, March 4 (UPI) -- Cuts to California's budget will make the state look "a little different" by the time the process is complete, a lawmaker said.

California's budget deficit is estimated at nearly $27 billion and Thursday Democrats on a key legislative committee voted for a plan that would slash welfare, end the Adult Day Health Care program for the aged and eliminate redevelopment agencies, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Unfortunately, given the severity of the crisis, … California is going to look a little different by the time we get to the end of the budget season," said Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, the leading Senate Democrat on the committee.

Leno said the elimination of redevelopment agencies would be "earth-shaking for many stakeholders."

Lawmakers are also proposing about $14 billion in additional taxes and the full Legislature could vote on the budget plan by midweek.

Republicans on the conference committee voted against many of the cuts because they said the plan didn't have enough details or they were tied to the tax proposal.

California Gov. Jerry Brown supported the committee's actions.

"The conference committee today made some bold decisions and I commend their work and their willingness to face the tough challenges that this year's budget presents," Brown said in a statement.

Redevelopment agency supporters called the proposal to eliminate the agencies unconstitutional and said they would fight the effort in court.

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