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California's Budget Deficit Is Now Higher Than It Was In The Great Recession

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In this file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom presents the 2020-21 state budget at a press conference at the California Capitol on Jan. 10, 2020. (Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
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The figures are grim: 18% unemployment rate for the year, 21% drop in new housing permits and nearly 9% decline in California personal income.

State finance officials just announced a $54.3 billion deficit — higher than the deficit during the Great Recession and obliterating the state's once-healthy reserves.

What does this mean for California? A financial tsunami and cuts to schools, health care and safety-net programs, as state and local governments turn to the federal government for additional stimulus support.

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