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CaliforniaBudget 02-17 Web

State layoffs set to begin

After a frustrating holiday weekend that failed to yield the one vote needed to end California’s budget stalemate, the state is poised to begin layoff proceedings today for 20,000 government workers.

In addition to the layoffs, the state also plans to halt all remaining public works projects, potentially putting thousands of construction workers out of jobs.

"We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg announced late Monday that lawmakers had failed to find the final vote in his chamber as Republicans refused to support tax increases.

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"One member," Steinberg said. "One more member to put the interest of the state ahead of ideology and ahead of any parochial concern."

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