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FROM THIS EPISODE

Governor-elect Jerry Brown has held two public discussions about the state's $28 billion shortfall, and some Sacramento observers say he's pursuing a "doomsday strategy." That means presenting voters with a bare-bones budget so draconian it'll scare them into approving new taxes. Education would be a big part of the package. We hear how Brown addressed it yesterday at UCLA. As to the "doomsday strategy," what if the voters say "no?"  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Congress passed healthcare reform and the states are putting it into effect, but the battle continues in the political arena and in the courts. We ask if Republican challenges to healthcare reform might backfire in favor of the Democrats, and hear how George W. Bush's judicial nominees are changing constitutional law. 

Banner image: Budget decisions facing Governor-elect Brown could generate protests like those organized last year the LA's teachers union on January 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Courts at Odds over Healthcare Law's Individual Mandate 26 MIN, 35 SEC

President Obama's healthcare reform requires that healthy Americans buy insurance even if they don't want to. Two federal judges, appointed by Bill Clinton, have ruled that the so-called "mandate" is constitutional. This week a third, appointed by George W. Bush, ruled that it's not.

Guests:
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com (@DahliaLithwick)
Ezra Klein, Washington Post (@ezraklein)
David Sirota, Salon.com (@davidsirota)
Jonathan Adler, Case Western Reserve University (@jadler1969)

Main Topic Jerry Brown: The Budget and Education 26 MIN, 8 SEC

Public schools, colleges and universities are already reeling after years of multi-billion dollar reductions. But the over-all budget gap will soon be $28 billion. At Jerry Brown's budget forum yesterday at UCLA, the Governor-elect discussed the dilemma with David Sanchez, President of the California Teachers' Association. The CTA President lamented that after all the budget cuts to K-12, "no more meat on this bone to carve, all that is left is amputation." Brown agreed that one wants to close schools, but reminded that no one wants to raise taxes either, and said it falls to him to bring people together to ensure the future of California.

Guests:
Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of California (@TomTorlakson)
John Rogers, UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access
Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee (@WaltersBee)
Robert Cruickshank, Contributing Editor, Calitics

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