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10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

1 | California At Long Last, a Budget Deal Weeks of deadlocked negotiations came to an end on July 20 when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators announced they had reached an agreement to close the state's $26.3 billion budget shortfall. The deal employs a combination of shifted funds, massive borrowing and more than $15.5 billion worth of cuts to major government programs. Comparing the budget sessions to a "suspense movie," Schwarzenegger thwarted a request by state Democrats to raise taxes and said the $12.9 billion hike in February was enough. Having issued some $680 million in IOUs and put nearly...

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