Calif. Readies 20,000 Pink Slips

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is upping the ante in the California budget crisis—by laying off 20,000 state workers. The move is intended to turn up the heat on lawmakers arguing over a package to close the state’s $41 billion budget gap, the Los Angeles Times reports. The governor and Senate Democrats are lobbying for a plan that includes more than $14 billion in new taxes, but they haven’t been able to secure a crucial third Republican vote. The administration will also shut down the last 276 public works projects, worth $3.8 billion, that had been allowed to continue operating during the state’s economic crisis.