Californians have seen this movie before—the state faces a massive budget deficit and drastic spending cuts, coupled with possible tax increases, are desperately needed to stave of bankruptcy. We’ve been through this so many times that perhaps we’re even a little numb to the debate, that California has been in a seemingly perpetual state of budget cutting that we simply shrug our shoulders at the specter of draconian cuts. As layoff notices start to go out to California’s teachers and local agencies prepare to close offices, lose workers and cut services, it’s good to review exactly how a $26 billion budget deficit will impact the average citizen. What will disappear from our daily lives, what public employees will see their jobs eliminated, what pot holes will go unfilled, what infrastructure projects will be scaled back, what long term planning will suffer? As the legislature prepares to vote on a final budget we walk you through a huge deficit to see how it will impact your life.
Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project