What? No, more of one than usual, actually: the state is in the hole for 16 billion, not the mere 9.2 billion that they were expecting to be in the hole for. So, they can either ‘cut schools, cops, and firefighters’ – put in scare quotes because the trick of cutting the popular stuff first is an old, old trick – or the taxpayers can vote in more taxes via referendum. You see, the GOP has just enough of a presence in the state legislature to prevent legislation hiking taxes; and it turns out that one side-effect of Democratic dominance of the California political process is that the Republican legislators that survive said process tend to be, ah, somewhat hardcore.
This says it all, really:
The Democratic governor said the shortfall grew from $9.2 billion in January in part because tax collections have not come in as high as expected and the economy isn’t growing as fast as hoped for. The deficit has also risen because lawsuits and federal requirements have blocked billions of dollars in state cuts.
Except, of course, for me repeating the title: FLEE.