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Lawmakers Resume Budget Battle

State lawmakers unhappy with cuts to health care and social services under Governor Gray Davis recent budget proposal get their first chance to fight for changes this week. The Legislature must fill an expected $23.6 billion budget shortfall before the signing of the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Davis has proposed a nearly $99 billion budget that would use tax increases, borrowing and $7.6 billion in program cuts to fill the expected hole. Two key budget panels are expected to begin reviewing the Davis plan Tuesday. Lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly have proposed restoring some of the governor´s proposed cuts, including money for local governments and Medi-Cal recipients. They haven´t said what they would cut instead.