Even as the Legislature and the governor were patting themselves on the back for, in theory, closing the last $20 billion budget deficit, even the most optimistic among them had to realize that another day of reckoning would soon be coming. That day is here as the painful budget process starts anew today when the governor presents his May budget revision that promises drastic cuts to state government programs. Various court rulings against the last budget agreement have forced the state to unwind the roughly $2.4 billion in cuts approved by the governor and Legislature earlier this year, and tax projections were off by almost $3 billion for April, killing any progress made on the revenue front. That combination has essentially brought the state right back to where it was a year ago and this time the budget pain promises to be unsparing. How much is left to cut and will California be a shadow of its former self?
Julie Small, KPCC Sacramento reporter
Frank Stoltze, KPCC Criminal Justice reporter
Matt David, communications director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger