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Senate Narrowly Defeats Tax Hike

A $4.7-billion tax increase designed to help balance the California budget has failed by a single vote in the state Senate. The bill that would hit the wealthy the hardest, needed a two-thirds majority of the 40-seat Senate to move to the Assembly. It got 26 of the 27 votes yesterday, all from Democrats. All 14 Republicans voted no. A spokesman says Democratic leaders plan to take up the bill again today. The measure would help close a $23.6-billion state budget deficit, mainly by raising income taxes for single filers who make more than $130,000.00 a year and couples who earn more than $260,000.00.