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Legislature's budget experts head to the private sector

November 22, 2010 |  5:53 pm

Two of the Legislature's top budget and fiscal experts are leaving state service for the private sector, joining a consulting firm run by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's former budget director, Mike Genest.

The departures continue an ongoing recent trend in which the state's most senior budget staff have either retired or left for the private sector. They are leaving amid dire times for the state: California faces an estimated $25.4-billion deficit over the next year and a half.

Peter Schaafsma has been a top budget advisor for Assembly Republicans for years and has worked in and around the Capitol since Jerry Brown's first stint as governor in the 1970s. Brad Williams is currently a top aide to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Williams had previously served as the chief economic and budget forecaster for the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.

Both are joining Genest's firm, which announced their arrival with an invitation to a holiday party.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

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