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California budget cuts welfare, child care; bolsters reserves

4:20 PM, Jun 29, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, visitors can enjoy the Stanford Mansion ... maybe even drop by the Governor's Mansion.

They're part of the list of 70 state parks that were slated to close July 1 because of budget cuts. Now one, Providence Mountains, in remote San Bernardino County, remains doomed.

Despite a $31 million line-item veto by Gov. Brown, most will stay open at least a few more weeks thanks to private donations.

Said Ruth Coleman, California State Parks Director, "This is kind of a reprieve. It's still incumbent on all of us to figure out good long-term solutions to save these treasures."

But no one is coming to the rescue of the state's poor children and college students. The governor reduced the number of subsidized child care slots for mothers in the welfare-to-work program known as CalWorks by 14,000. And CalGrants will be 5 percent smaller, mostly for those who attend private schools but the cut also applies to some students in public colleges.

The new budget is a triple whammy for CalWorks recipient Sheaba Jackson. The state's new spending plan already cuts welfare from four years to two. The line item vetoes now puts her child care at risk and as soon as her grades were up, she wanted to apply for a CalGrant.

"What we need is our resources and it's being taken from us," said Jackson. "It's very difficult."

"If you're going to cut us off at the knees, how can we walk?"

In all, Brown slashed another $200 million from the budget using his line-item authority. He's putting that money in reserves to boost it to nearly a billion dollars for emergencies.

The line item vetoes upset Democratic lawmakers. They feel the money could be better used to prevent severe cuts in social programs, instead of sitting in a bank account."

Nannette Miranda


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