Help Wanted: New Budget "Genius"

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NOT AN EASY JOB: Budget watchers at the Capitol say it will not be easy for Governor Schwarzenegger to find a replacement for his soon-to-be-departing Finance Director, Donna Arudin, the person Schwarzenegger often referred to in news conferences as his "genius." Arudin's last day is tomorrow, with Deputy Director Mike Genest filling in on an interim basis.

Meantime, the Legislative Analyst pegs the 2005-2006 budget as being at least $6 billion in the red. And it will be harder to fill that gap next time around, after Proposition 58 (passed by voters in March) essentially made any more large borrowing off-limits.

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About John Myers

John Myers is Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED Public Radio and "The California Report," heard daily on 23 public radio stations across the Golden State.

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