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February 18, 2009
California's budget woes
The economic crisis has sapped California, the world's eighth-largest economy, of its tax revenue, leaving it with a $42 billion budget deficit over the next year-and-a-half. A bipartisan package that legislative leaders negotiated with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been stalled for days in the state Senate, where it needs one more GOP vote to pass. Schwarzenegger has started the process of laying off up to 10,000 state workers and forced some 200,000 government employees to take unpaid time off. The state has put the brakes on hundreds of building projects and has stopped issuing checks to taxpayers owed refunds. During the budget impasse, Bee photographer Brian Baer has spent countless hours, day and night, covering the state legislature. Here are some of his pictures. (20 images)

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Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, sits alone at his desk as other Republicans talk together behind him during the Senate floor session on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com


 

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Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, carries a cot to his office on Wednesday as the senate prepared to stay at the capitol until a budget passed. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, left , leaves the floor with Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, after the Senate again failed to pass the budget plan, coming up one vote short on Wednesday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Gov. Schwarzenegger leaves a news conference after talking about the California budget crisis on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, stands next to a sign indicating the one vote needed to pass the California budget plan during a news conference discussing the economic stimulus plan and the state of the California budget crisis on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, sleeps in the back of the Senate Chambers after an all night session on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. John Benoit, R-Palm Desert, sits at his desk as the senate returns to the floor after an all night session on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, votes no on the budget plan on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood listens to the vote on the budget plan on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, plays cards on her desk as she waits for the vote on the budget to come up on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, stands on the floor before the debate on the budget plan before the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, sits on the floor alone during a senate recess. The senate was waiting to take up the budget plan on Tuesday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, listens to the budget debate on the floor before the senate recessed without voting on a budget bill on Monday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, talks with Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, on the floor before the senate recessed without voting on a budget bill on Monday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, talks to the fellow democratic senators, Dean Florez, D-Shafter, Christie Kehoe, D-San Diego, Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, and Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara after the he met with the senate republican leader on Monday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, rubs his eyes as the Senate takes up the budget bills Sunday morning without success. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley votes no on a budget bill as the senate takes up the budget bills Sunday morning without success. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Assemblyman Joe Coto, D-San Jose, sleeps in the rear of the chamber at 7:15 a.m. as the Assembly continues under lockdown until a deal is passed on Sunday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria talks to Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, during floor debate on the state budget on Saturday, Feb. 14. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, listens to debate on the floor, before the senate takes up the budget at the state Capitol on Saturday. Brian Baer / bbaer@sacbee.com



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