Governor's Proposed Budget Undermines Social Safety Net for California Children and Families

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky
Children’s Defense Fund-California
(510) 663-1294

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Jerry Brown released a revised proposal for the 2012-2013 state budget that maintains devastating cuts to health and human services, as well as other critical programs serving for California’s children and their families. The budget also calls for $5.5 billion additional trigger cuts to public schools if voters reject Governor Brown’s November tax initiative.

The budget proposal includes almost $900 million in cuts to CalWORKs cash assistance for families and more than $450 million in cuts to subsidized child care. Additionally, the budget proposal slashes IHSS funding by $225 million, which would affect the many disabled children and their families that depend on the program. Furthermore, Governor Brown’s proposal eliminates the Healthy Families Program and transition nearly 900,000 children to Medi-Cal, putting the health of California children at risk.

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

“The spending cuts that Governor Brown proposes will be devastating for California’s children, particularly children of color.  We cannot afford these cuts at a time when more than one in five California children lives below the poverty line and more than one million California children lack health insurance.

These cuts will only harm California in the long run. Reducing cash assistance and child care subsidies for families during a period of high unemployment will put more families at risk of extreme poverty. 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 slash California’s already tattered social safety net. Our state leaders must pursue a balanced approach that ensures that the state has the increased revenues needed to fully invest in California’s children.”