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The Democratic governor released his first budget proposal since winning election last fall. He called for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, including reductions in welfare, social services, health care for the poor and a combined $1 billion cut to the University of California and California State University systems.

Mr. Brown also wants the Legislature to call a special election in June to give voters an opportunity to continue increases in the income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years. His proposal relies on new revenues of $12 billion.

The governor’s office says the only area of state spending he would protect is K-12 education.

Mr. Brown said his recommendations will close an 18-month budget gap estimated at $25.4 billion and require sacrifice from all Californians.

“For 10 years, we’ve had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt. We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth,” he said in a statement.


Man accused of staff threats

DENVER | A Colorado man is accused of threatening to set fire around U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s local office and shoot members of his staff.

John Troy Davis faces a charge of assault on a federal employee and was scheduled to be in court in Denver on Monday afternoon.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mr. Davis called Mr. Bennet’s office Thursday to complain about his Social Security benefits. The affidavit says at one point, Mr. Davis told a Bennet staffer he is schizophrenic and that he “may go to terrorism.”

The purported threat happened two days before six people were fatally shot at a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz., where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents.


Governor vows focus on ‘basics’

TOPEKA | Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is promising to focus on the basics of government as the state wrestles with a big budget shortfall.

In his inaugural address on Monday, the Republican said he wants Kansas to renew the nation’s optimism and become known as “a state of Hope.”

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