Governor: Tax hikes needed for $16B CA budget gap

(AP) – California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing more than $8 billion in cuts to close a widening California budget deficit but also says public schools will receive more money if voters approve his tax-hike initiative in November. Under the latest budget proposal, Brown wants public employees to take a 5 percent pay cut and he seeks cuts to health care and social services. Brown released his revised spending plan Monday for the fiscal year starting July 1, saying the state faces a $15.7 billion deficit. That is roughly 17 percent of its $91 billion general fund. It also is far higher than the $9.2 billion gap Brown anticipated in January. The Democratic governor says the size of the deficit makes it virtually impossible to balance the budget with spending cuts alone.

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