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California Deficit Grows to $16 Billion

The state budget deficit in California has soared since the beginning of the year, and is now projected to be $16 billion, a dramatic increase from the $9.2 billion that had been expected in January, Gov. Jerry Brown said in a video posted on YouTube Saturday (embedded below).

“We will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater, than I asked for at the beginning of the year,” Brown said. The announcement marks “a significant setback for Brown,” particularly since he had promised to get the state’s finances in order when he was elected, notes the Los Angeles Times.

In the YouTube video that, as the New York Times notes, “had all the trappings of a campaign announcement,” Brown called on state voters to back his initiatives to increase the sales tax by a quarter-cent and boost income taxes for those who make more than $250,000 as a way of preventing deep cuts in essential services. Brown will outline his spending plan Monday to state lawmakers.

Read more at Slate.

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