Governor warns of possible $10 billion deficit — California could face a $10 billion budget shortfall this year, far worse than the deficit projected only three weeks ago, officials from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office warned education leaders on Tuesday, according to several schools representatives.

Governor wants a higher sales tax — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will push for a sales tax increase when he calls legislators back to Sacramento next month, California education leaders said Tuesday – and for cuts of more than $2 billion in school spending. The leaders also said after a closed-door meeting with the governor that he estimated the current size of the gap between state revenues and spending in the budget he signed only last month at between $5 billion and $8 billion, and “possibly more.”

Dan Walters: Sour economy makes California spending measures iffy
— California’s economy is in its worst slump at least since the early 1990s, with hundreds of thousands of jobs disappearing, the unemployment rate soaring past 7 percent and, as yet, no clue when we’ll hit bottom and begin rebounding.

Newsom ignores risks, campaigns against Prop. 8 — In the last week of what could be one of the most important political fights of his career, Mayor Gavin Newsom is campaigning heavily against Proposition 8, turning to his supporters with pleas to vote and convince their friends and relatives to oppose the same-sex marriage ban.

Proposition 8 would blunt biotech edge, execs say — A group of San Diego biotechnology executives have banded together to oppose Proposition 8, saying the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage would be bad for business.

Flood of absentees may delay election night results
— An election that’s already considered historic may pass yet another milestone: the first time more Californians cast votes for president by mail than at polling places. The trend toward voting by mail suits Californians’ busy lifestyles, allowing them to work through long, complicated ballots on their own time. But absentee voting could result in delayed results, particularly in tight races, elections experts say.

California education leaders told to brace for big budget cuts — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told education leaders Tuesday that he would push for a tax hike and deep cuts to schools to help close the state’s yawning budget gap, according to several participants in a meeting with him.

Statewide eighth-grade algebra test put on hold — A Sacramento Superior Court judge has halted – at least for now – a controversial plan to require that all California eighth-graders be tested in Algebra 1 as early as 2011. No other state requires students that young to take the test. Only about half of California’s eighth-graders currently take an Algebra 1 course.