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Governor's Proposed Budget Puts California’s Most Vulnerable Children at Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky
Children’s Defense Fund-California
(510) 663-1294

 

Sacramento, CA - Governor Jerry Brown released a 2012-2013 state budget proposal today that contains large spending cuts to health and human services, and other vital safety net services for children and families. The budget also calls for additional cuts to public schools if voters reject the proposed tax increases Governor Brown is trying to place on the November ballot.

The budget proposal calls for almost $950 million in cuts to CalWORKs cash assistance for families and almost $450 million in cuts to subsidized child care. Governor Brown’s budget proposes a nearly 26 percent reduction in the rates paid to managed care plans that serve children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program. Governor Brown also proposes moving all 875,000 children in Healthy Families to Medi-Cal beginning in October 2012.

After a preliminary review of the budget, Jamila Edwards, Northern California Director for Children’s Defense Fund California, released the following statement:

“While we understand the state is undergoing tremendous financial woes and continuing debt, Governor Brown’s budget proposal will only serve to cost the state more in the long run by continuing to disinvest in California’s children. The cumulative impacts of cuts over the past several years are devastating: almost one in five California children lives below the poverty line, more than one million California children lack health insurance, and a growing number of California children are homeless.

These cuts are shortsighted and will undermine our state’s future. Cutting cash assistance for families during a period of high unemployment means that more families will be at risk of homelessness. Reducing child care subsidies for families who have struggled to find work will result in parents not being able to work or children being left alone or in unsafe environments. This will ultimately cost the state more as families will be unable to move to self-sufficiency.

Our children can no longer withstand budget proposals that focus more on cutting already minimally funded programs. Our state leaders need to implement a balanced approach that ensures that the state has the increased revenues needed to fully invest in our children and our future.”

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