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Massive State Layoffs Possible

Nearly 10,000 state workers have received word they might be laid off in the coming months. That´s in response to California´s record $38.2 billion dollar budget deficit.

Governor Davis has warned unions that he wants to save $855 million in employee costs next year. Davis says he will take the savings either by layoffs or by working cooperatively with the unions on such things as delayed pay increases or voluntary furloughs. Union officials say they are willing to consider the options but serious talks surrounding the issue have just begun.

A spokeswoman for the governor´s office says the layoff notices went out as part of a contingency plan in case negotiations with the unions don´t work out.