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Take Two for December 14, 2012

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Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.
Jessica Hill/AP
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

A new report shows that fiscal cliff or not, California faces more budget problems. Plus, CA schools are using controversial bonds to finance new buildings, L.A. County pushes for a tax to help pay for storm drain cleanup. BREAKING NEWS: A tragic school shooting in Connecticut has left 27 dead. We interrupted our regular program for national news on this story.

First, just as California's budget woes appear to be on the mend as we pull out of the recession, comes some bad news.A report issued today by National Association of State Budget Offices warns that spiraling health care costs and reduced federal aid means the state will continue to have to make cuts in its programs.
To finance new facilities, California schools are taking on billions of dollars in debt using financing tools that some state officials say should be banned, but schools argue it’s a good deal.
Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and economics editor for the Guardian and Jim Rainey, political columnist for the Los Angeles Times chew on the week's big stories, including Susan Rice's decision not to pursue a post as Secretary of State, the status of the fiscal cliff crisis, and can the federal government have the resources to enforce medical marijuana restrictions?
In "Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment," former NY Times reporter Craig R. Whitney highlights the need for an effective discussion from both sides about gun control.
LA County wants to shift its strategy for controlling stormwater pollution, and it wants homeowners to foot the bill. A vote-by-mail election could be set for March.
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