Capitol Alert

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Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is organizing an extraordinary budget forum for Sacramento next week -- the first of likely three statewide -- to emphasize to lawmakers and the public the severity of California's fiscal morass.

Brown is expected to invite all legislators to next week's forum, scheduled to be held Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium, sources said. Legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's finance director, Ana Matosantos, are expected to be involved in the event.

Brown has remained largely cloistered since Election Day, meeting with advisers about the state's estimated $25.4 billion budget deficit.

Brown doesn't take office until Jan. 3, and the Sacramento forum will occur as lawmakers convene in a special budget session called by Schwarzenegger.

Plans for two additional forums are less certain. Brown will likely host a forum with education leaders in the Los Angeles area and discuss health and human services in the Bay Area. All three forums are expected to be open to the media.



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