Schwarzenegger pushes measures locally


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As voters hold California's fiscal fate in their hands, /*Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)*/ made one final swing through California to plead for his budget reforms.

"If people want change, they will go out and vote yes on those initiatives," said Schwarzenegger.

The governor campaigned in San Jose surrounded by police officers, firefighters, business leaders and teachers. They say if the propositions don't pass, there will be a $21.3 billion budget deficit.

"There's the possibility of an additional 25,000 teachers that will lose their jobs permanently, if these initiatives don't pass," said California Teachers' Association president David Sanchez.

Outspoken opponents such as Rob Reiner are using old and new media, like YouTube, to push their campaign message. They argue the spending cap and rainy day fund will force cuts from programs such as mental health services.

"It's a gimmick and it's going to cut services that people want and need," said Brian O'Neill, from SEIU Local #251.

Firefighters who have been an effective political campaign group in the past are joining the governor in urging a yes vote. They're telling voters the state can't afford more cuts to public safety as we enter another dangerous fire season.

"They're going to hurt themselves with this because the fires are coming guess what? Mother Nature does not care about the budget," said San Jose firefighter president Randy Sekany.

But the budget mess seems to have angered and frustrated voters.

The governor is hoping for a last minute upset at the polls, but says whatever the outcome the legislature must act fast.

"I think they will come to an agreement very quickly. I've heard from Democrats the very same thing as Republicans. We will make quick decisions. No matter if they win or lose the initiatives," said Schwarzenegger.

The vote by mail ballots are already being counted. The polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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