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22,000 Prison Inmates in Love with Schwarzenegger

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Why do all these prisoners love our governor? Because in his budget cuts that were released today, it proposes just that -- an early release for 22,000 low-risk inmates. "The governor says the cuts are necessary to erase a $14 billion revenue shortfall over the next 18 months. Schwarzenegger's new budget would spend 3 percent less than the one he signed last summer," according to the AP.

Here is some of what is also on the chopping block of the states $141 billion budget:

  • A near 10% cut in education
  • Close about one in five of all state parks (that equals out to 48 out of 279 state parks, reserves, and recreation areas. The California State Parks has a handy PDF map of this).
  • Half of the seasonal lifeguards at state beaches will be cut.
  • "$1 billion in payments for doctors and hospitals that take care of Medi-Cal and Healthy Families patients" (LA Times)
  • $11 million from AIDS programs
  • CalWORKS, the state's welfare program, would lose $462 million.

The LA Times reports that "Schwarzenegger said the reductions were essential to close a $14.5-billion deficit created by the slumping housing sector and other economic factors. The governor's budget proposal would lead to a 2.3% decrease in spending of state tax dollars next year."

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Remember, these are just proposed cuts -- nothing is in stone. And like the Daily News says, the governor "hopes to start a debate among Californians about what services they want from state government and how to pay for them." And so the debate begins...

Photo by d_vdm via Flickr