The California Legislature convened Monday in special session in Sacramento to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis that prompted Gov. Gray Davis to propose $10.2 billion in a combination of mid-fiscal year budget cuts and other savings. The state operates on a July-to-July fiscal year, and is facing a $21 to $30 billion deficit for the next fiscal year, 2003-04. Davis called the proposed cuts “severe” and likely difficult to implement midway through the fiscal year, but he said the state faces an “extraordinary challenge and no program will be held harmless.” State lawmakers, particularly members of his majority Democratic Party in each house, are expected to resist cuts in services to the needy. The legislature, which Davis called into two concurrent special sessions in 2001 to deal with the state’s energy crisis, will have to fashion legislation to implement the governor’s proposed cuts or come up with other ways to address the revenue shortfall that is principally due to the continuing economic downturn, particularly the decline in the dot-come sector that fueled large tax windfalls to the state in the late 1990s through mid-2000. Details of the governor’s proposed budget cuts are posted on the California finance department’s web site (

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