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PolitiCal Roundup: Budget drama mounts, pension issues foment

The guillotine begins to fall, hacking at services for the poor, elderly and disabled, as California lawmakers approve the first legislation needed for severe cuts to the state budget.

Times columnist George Skelton covers the drama as time runs out: The handful of GOP lawmakers willing to negotiate with Gov. Jerry Brown on a budget compromise may pay a steep political price. But "so be it," says one, Sen. Bill Emmerson of Hemet. "I came here to govern."

Easing of environmental rules are a key GOP demand in those pivotal, last-ditch negotiations with the governor.

The budget crisis has revived talk of varying the amount of tuition among University of California schools. It's just talk -- so far.

And public-employee pension issues continue to foment around the state: In Costa Mesa, the city moves ahead with a controversial plan to outsource many city services to avoid pension costs.

And in San Diego, members of the board that administers the troubled, underfunded pension system are worried that things could get so bad they would be personally sued.  

 
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