Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Governor’s Budget Signature Lands with Thud

The governor demanded more sacrifice today from working and needy Californians when he cut an additional $586 million while signing California’s budget revision.

A full list of these cuts is available through the Department of Finance starting on page 43 of this document. Most of these cuts were resoundingly rejected by the Conference Committee, after receiving days of input from the public.

A clear pattern emerges in looking at the governor’s list of cuts: it is harder than ever to be a kid in California. Among other things, the governor cut:
• $79.9 million from Child Welfare Services, which investigates instances of child abuse and neglect;
• $50 million from Healthy Families by throwing children off health insurance;
• $50 million from the Early Start Program, which provides disabled young children with early intervention services; and
• $2 million from the Student Aid Commission.

The pain does not stop there. $120 million was cut from county administration funds for Medi-Cal, making it harder for Californians to actually use Medi-Cal. All funding – about $52 million – for the Office of Aids Prevention and Treatment was eliminated. It provided AIDS prevention education as well as counseling services and community care to those living with AIDS. And, all funding for the Domestic Violence Program was eliminated – about $16 million. It provided comprehensive shelter-based domestic violence services to victims of domestic violence and their children.

People will suffer and die because of the cuts the governor made today. I know the governor will be okay. He will relax in his jacuzzi tonight and light up a stogie. It’s the rest of California that I’m worried about.