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This year may be the driest in California in half a millennium. These reports explore how the drought is affecting agriculture, business and living conditions in the nation’s most populous state.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger's newest proposal to close the Golden State's budgetary gap: selling some of California's biggest landmarks, including the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the California State Fairgrounds and the San Quentin prison. Because the proposed sales might come during a slumping real estate market, there are questions about whether taxpayers would be getting a good deal.

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On a desperate mission to save California from a $24 billion budget gap, a legislative committee voted to eliminate both the Secretary of Education office, a whopping $2.2 million endeavor, and the Office of Planning and Research ($50 million), while the Waste Management Board, stuffed with ex-lawmakers with six-figure salaries, would see its responsibilities enhanced.

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California is running short on cash fast -- $23 billion short. According to chief legislative budget analyst Mac Taylor, the Golden State may not have enough moolah to keep it going through July, and this after across-the-line tax hikes approved in the February budget package.

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