Chances are when you sing one the holiday season's most familiar songs, it doesn't start out this way: "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, $980 million in budget cuts."
And yet on the first day of Christmas 2011 -- assume you celebrate, as the song does, 12 days -- that's what arrived for California. More deep cuts and, as we're told, more on the way.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast takes a closer look at Governor Jerry Brown's announcement of the automatic spending cuts. Kevin Yamamura of the Sacramento Bee and I also discuss the budget context in which these cuts will play out, as well as a look at the fiscal and tax fights looming for 2012.