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Schwarzenegger declares emergency

The state's governor calls for quick legislative action to help ease the $11.2 billion deficit.

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ATLANTA, Ga. (CNN) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday declared a fiscal emergency, calling for fast legislative action to alleviate the state's $11.2 billion shortfall in revenue.

"Without immediate action our state is headed for a fiscal disaster and that is why with more than two dozen new legislators sworn in today - I am wasting no time in calling a fiscal emergency special session," Schwarzenegger said in a news release.

Under the state's Proposition 58, lawmakers will have 45 days to pass measures on resolving the fiscal crisis, and if at the end of that time they have not, the legislature will not be allowed to adjourn or act on other bills until they do, according to the governor's office.

Schwarzenegger's announcement comes on the heels of another special session he called in August to deal with the budget shortfall. That session ended Tuesday without a resolution.

Fiscal measures require a two-thirds vote for approval.

California's Democrats, a majority in the statehouse, are at an impasse with Schwarzenegger's fellow Republicans on spending cuts and tax hikes - leaving room for partisan fingerpointing.

"California saw Democrats take courageous votes to cut services we care about. The Republicans had a chance to also show some courage and support moderate new revenues and they simply turned their backs," said state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass on Tuesday, when both sides failed to reach a resolution in that special session.

State Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill blamed the Democrats for the stymie, saying Tuesday, "Governments across the nation are grappling with deficits but only Democrats in the California State Legislature are pushing to raise taxes instead of helping the economy get back on its feet."

The fiscal 2009 shortfall is projected to be $11.2 billion, the governor's office said. The Legislative Analyst's Office shows the deficit reaching a staggering $28 billion by mid-2010. To top of page

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