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Published: 04/19/11

Prison Guards Getting Payoff for Supporting Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown?

By  Tori Richards - AOL News
Prison Guards Getting Payoff for Supporting Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown?

A taxpayer rights group has blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, for giving the prison guards who funded his re-election a new contract that will eventually cost millions to a state that is virtually bankrupt. The new contract, which must be ratified by the Democrat-controlled Legislature, undoes reforms that were put in place by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger aimed at curbing the powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Specifically, Schwarzenegger imposed furlough days and refused to sign a new contract granting additional benefits. Justin Sullivan,...

Published: 04/13/11

5 Large States, 5 Different Paths to Fix Broken Budgets

By  not in system - AOL News
5 Large States, 5 Different Paths to Fix Broken Budgets

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- California's governor wants to maintain temporary tax increases to keep $9 billion a year flowing to the state treasury. Low-tax Texas is considering tapping its rainy day account to soften the effects of deep spending cuts. New York's governor pushed through budget cuts while keeping a campaign pledge to avoid tax increases. And residents of Illinois and Florida are getting a very different take on taxes: Illinois passed a massive increase, while Florida proposes giving its taxpayers a big break. The five states are the nation's most populous but are taking very...

Published: 03/30/11

Near-Record Sierra Snow Good News to Parched Calif.

By  not in system - AOL News
Near-Record Sierra Snow Good News to Parched Calif.

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. -- Chris Rivest's father sent him from San Francisco to the family vacation cabin near the Sierra Nevada crest with a seemingly simple chore -- clear it and the driveway of snow. Easy for him to say. When Rivest arrived earlier this week at the cabin near Soda Springs, about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento, the snow was so deep it nearly touched the power lines crossing in front of the cabin. Snow was piled at least 10 feet high on top of the deck of the A-frame home. Rich Pedroncelli, AP A California Department of Transportation snow remover clears a road...

Published: 02/17/11

States Shift to Deep Cuts for Workers to Balance Budgets

By  Andrea Stone - AOL News
States Shift to Deep Cuts for Workers to Balance Budgets

Dire. Drastic. Draconian. Call them what you will, but the measures being called for in state capitals to deal with record budget shortfalls are harsher than any in memory and have sparked angry protests from public employees most likely to feel the brunt of them. In Madison, Wis., police were dispatched today when every Democrat in the state Senate failed to show up for a vote on a bill to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights. Thousands of teachers and other state workers have rallied in and around the Capitol, some holding signs comparing the new governor, Republican Scott...

Published: 01/20/11

Jerry Brown Declares California Fiscal Emergency While Meg Whitman Is Named to HP Board

By  David Knowles - AOL News
Jerry Brown Declares California Fiscal Emergency While Meg Whitman Is Named to HP Board

Their paths have diverged. Intense rivals in the 2010 race to become governor of the state of California, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman spent today in markedly different ways. Gov. Brown declared a fiscal emergency for California, a procedural move that will reboot a 45-day clock that will allow him to put forth a new plan to help solve a nearly $27 billion budget shortfall, the Sacramento Bee reported. Brown's proposed budget is filled with big cuts to higher education and state services, and also calls for the revoking of cell phones from some government employees. Shortly before Brown made...

Published: 01/13/11

Mess in Illinois Only the Beginning of States' Budget Woes

By  Joseph Schuman - AOL News
Mess in Illinois Only the Beginning of States' Budget Woes

When Illinois legislators voted this week to raise state income taxes by 66 percent, they weren't sending a signal of tax-and-spend. It was tax-and-survive. The millions of job losses, real-estate market implosion and relentless economic malaise wrought by the 2008-09 recession left Illinois' and other states' treasuries barren and their budgets deep in the red. Budget shortfalls are expected to be bad again this year and next, leaving state governments around the country with no choice but to painfully cut social services, education funds and other spending, or raise taxes, or in most cases...

Published: 01/11/11

Jerry Brown Wants to Take Away California Workers' Cell Phones

By  Elliot Olshansky - AOL News
Jerry Brown Wants to Take Away California Workers' Cell Phones

Can you hear me now? Well, not for long ... if you're a California state employee. Jerry Brown, just over a week after starting his second stint as governor, issued an executive order today requiring that half of the state's government-funded cell phones be returned by June 1, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The move, according to the Los Angeles Times, is one of several steps the new governor is taking to dig the Golden State out of a $25 billion budget deficit. Brown is also examining the 13,600 light-duty vehicles in the state fleet that are not used by public safety agencies,...

Published: 01/3/11

Schwarzenegger's Legacy: Last Action Hero Awaits History's Judgment

By  Lou Cannon - Politics Daily
Schwarzenegger's Legacy: Last Action Hero Awaits History's Judgment

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie action-hero who became governor of California, walked off stage in Sacramento on Monday, leaving behind a $28-billion budget shortfall for his successor, Jerry Brown, a job approval rating of 23 percent, and many critical media reviews of his governorship. Even Schwarzenegger acknowledged that he had failed to "blow up the boxes" of state government as he promised to do when he took office more than six years ago. "It's true that we did not blow up all the boxes I intended to blow up," Schwarzenegger told The Wall Street Journal. "It was more difficult than I...

Published: 01/3/11

Jerry Brown Sworn In as California's Governor, Again

By  not in system - AOL News
Jerry Brown Sworn In as California's Governor, Again

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Democrat Jerry Brown has been sworn in as California's 39th governor, returning to the office he left 28 years ago but inheriting a more troubled state than the one he led then. Justin Sullivan, Getty Images Jerry Brown, left, is sworn in Monday as the 39th governor of California by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, right, as his wife, Anne Gust Brown, center, looks on. Now 72, he took the oath of office after being introduced by his wife of five years, former Gap Inc. executive Anne Gust Brown, inside Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Brown, who replaces...

Published: 01/2/11

From the State Capitals: Governors Offer Inaugural Views

By  Carla Baranauckas - Politics Daily
From the State Capitals: Governors Offer Inaugural Views

Thirty-seven governors are beginning new terms and taking the oath of office in December or January. Following are excerpts from their inaugural addresses. (Click on the name of the governor to see the full text of the address.) Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R) Jan. 7, 2011 As I stand before you today, my thoughts are with the 70,000 Idahoans who are out of work -- many through no fault of their own. My message to them is that those of us in state government are more committed than ever to addressing the root of our economic woes by tapping into the enterprising spirit of our communities, our...

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3/14/11 at 11:00 PM

French Comedy 'Potiche' Mixes Laughs With Social Message

By  Eleanor Clift

For women, and men too, weary of nuance and...

3/14/11 at 8:27 AM

Can the Girl Scouts Help Balance Georgia's Budget?

By  Joanne Bamberger

If Georgia lawmakers get their way,...

3/13/11 at 1:30 PM

Mom Has Cancer. Her Son Reacts.

By  Donna Trussell

My friend Julie Levine had everything I...

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