Unions clash with cost-cutting state legislators

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So far, Democrats, who control the California Legislature, are backing labor - they left out the furlough provision in a budget plan passed last week - but that support may crumple in the face of the state’s dire financial straits.

State Comptroller John Chiang said Dec. 23 that the state will run out of cash in about 70 days. Analysts are projecting a $42 billion budget gap in 1 1/2 years.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, ordered a special legislative session last week over the objections of legislators and ordered them to close the budget gap by Christmas.

“Every now and then when the situation gets bad enough, there are union officials who know when to bend rather than break,” said Stan Greer, spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee. “When they see the threat of the ax over their heads, they can make compromises.”

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