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Jack O'Connell
Budget to reshape the Golden State
Budget to reshape the Golden State

Roads will be rougher, classrooms fuller and textbooks more tattered. The odds of encountering someone fresh out of prison will almost certainly be higher. If the budget deal crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and top legislative leaders is passed by the Legislature and survives the inevitable court challenges, California will undergo perhaps the biggest downscaling of government in its history. The state will be reshaped, at least for the short term, into a domain that is more efficient by necessity, but also noticeably shabbier, less generous and possibly more dangerous. Those who will notice the biggest changes will be students and the poor as class sizes increase and health and...