by Cathy Maupin
Sacramento — The Children’s Defense Fund-California immediately issued a stinging criticism of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “May Revise” of the California state budget when it was released Wednesday. CDF-CA strongly disapproves of the deep cuts to programs on which children and families rely.
In a state with the eighth largest economy in the world, it is a moral outrage that cuts to foster care, health coverage, cash assistance for children and food programs are even being considered. Our policy makers must recognize that every step taken to improve the lives of children improves the lives of all Californians. Instead of structuring our state budget to address the urgent needs facing millions of California’s families, the governor proposes once again to balance the budget on the backs of our state’s most vulnerable population: children.
In many cases one family will feel the effects of multiple cuts simultaneously. For example, the same child receiving CalWORKs may experience a freeze in her cash benefits, be disenrolled from health care and have her food assistance benefits reduced.
In the midst of an economic downturn when gas and food prices are skyrocketing, we have a moral responsibility to meet the needs of children and should respond to an economic downturn as we respond to any other type of disaster or crisis that requires increased resources and attention.
CDF-CA encourages the governor and state Legislature to make better choices for California’s children and consider new revenue sources to help close the gap on the looming budget deficit.
CDF-CA Interim Executive Director Cathy Maupin can be reached at Children’s Defense Fund – California, 2201 Broadway, Suite 705, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 663-3780, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cdfca.org, www.childrensdefense.org.