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Again? State Budget Faces $21 Billion Projected Deficit

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Billions taken healthcare and education, a 32 percent hike under consideration in the University system, the list could go on. The big question is, after this year, what more is there to cut?

It's an especially important question considering a new projected deficit puts California almost back in the same spot when dealing with this year's budget. A report to be released today by the state's chief budget analyst says California's projected budget deficit is $21 billion, according to the LA Times.

"The grim forecast, described by people who were briefed on the report by Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, comes courtesy of California's recession-wracked economy, unrealistic budgeting assumptions, spending cuts tied up in the courts and disappearing federal stimulus funds," explains the paper. "The task in 2010 could be even harder than it was this year, when record deficits and cash shortfalls drove California to issue IOUs for only the second time since the Great Depression. Lawmakers have already cut billions from education, healthcare and social services while temporarily hiking income, sales and vehicle taxes."

Schwarzenegger warned of this last week: “I think there will be across-the-board cuts again. We are not going to go and pick and choose [ between programs]. I think that we always have to go and cut across the board."