California budget deal to free 27,000 inmates


By Michael Rothfeld and Patrick McGreevy
July 22, 2009
Reporting from Sacramento -- Less than 24 hours after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders announced a plan to close California's massive budget deficit, Los Angeles County officials moved to sue the state, a union for government workers said it might strike, and Republicans threatened to back out of the deal over a provision to cut the number of prison inmates by 27,000.

The governor largely stayed out of sight, except for posting a brief video on Twitter in which he played with a big knife and talked about autographing state property to be sold at auction to raise extra money. Legislative leaders, meanwhile, began to brief their members, and staff started compiling a formal proposal in anticipation of a vote that could occur Thursday.

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