By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff California Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a painful slate of budget cuts yesterday, including shifting all state employees to a four-day, 38-hour workweek, in an effort to reduce the state's yawning $15.7 billion budget gap. The plan also includes cuts to courts, health services, and welfare in what Brown terms a stab at "real, increased austerity." The plan also assumes the public will in November pass a new tax initiative designed to raise $6 billion, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
If voters balk at the initiative -- which would increase the sales tax and boost taxes on the highest earners -- "trigger cuts" will kick in and automatically trim billions from education spending. And even if the spending cuts and tax hikes go through, California will still be stuck with a $7.7 billion deficit in two years. " "It's taken a long time, more than a decade, to get into this mess," Brown said. "We're not going to get out of it in a year, or even two years. But we're getting there." --Written by Kevin Spak of Newser