After months of intense negotiations California lawmakers remain in a deadlock over the state's budget, forcing Governor Schwarzenegger to follow through on his promise to lay off more than 10,000 state workers and suspend nearly all of the state's public works projects.
The state budget, largely written by Democrats, remains one vote shy of approval. Republicans have lined up in opposition to the budget because it relies heavily on tax increased to bolster California's nearly $42 billion deficit. So far it appeals unlikely that any Republican will be willing to cross party lines and vote for the budget.
While the legislature continues to wrangle over votes, Schwarzenegger has claimed that he has no choice but to begin laying off thousands of state employees. In addition, the halted state projects represent approximately $4 billion in funding and make it likely that scores of construction workers will lose their jobs as well.
"We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal in a speech before the senate.
The California Legislature will meet again today to try to reach an agreement on the budget, though exactly how one will be achieved remains unclear.
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