Schwarzenegger Says he Will Declare Fiscal Emergency

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will declare a "fiscal emergency" in January to give him and the legislature more power to deal with the state's growing deficit.

Schwarzenegger made the announcement Friday after meeting with
lawmakers and interest groups this week to tell them California's
budget deficit is worse - far worse - than economists predicted just a few weeks ago.

The shortfall is not $10 billion, but over $14 billion - a 40 percent jump that would put it in orbit with some of the state's worst fiscal crisis, those who have met with him said.

A fiscal emergency would trigger a special session and force lawmakers and the governor to begin addressing the shortfall within
45 days.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-14-07 1653EST


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