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Politics

Major Debates Await Calif. Lawmakers After Break

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Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers returning this week from their spring recess face fast-approaching deadlines for several critical decisions.

They will soon need to decide whether to make deeper cuts to social welfare programs, reform the public employee pension system and approve borrowing for high-speed rail.

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to ask the Legislature to appropriate more than $2 billion to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system. Construction could begin later this year.

Lawmakers, who reconvene Monday, also will start considering their budget options in earnest as the state faces a $9.2 billion deficit. Democrats have balked at Brown’s initial proposal for the coming fiscal year, which calls for billions more in social service cuts.

Democrats and Republicans already have begun clashing over whether to approve the Democratic governor’s pension reforms.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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