Families protest proposed cuts to subsidized child care

May 2, 2012 7:33:36 PM PDT
Hundreds of low-income families throughout California marched around the Capitol Wednesday to protest the proposed $500 million in cuts to subsidized child care.

Without it, many say they'll have to go on welfare, which Alexis Robinson of Marin County says doesn't make sense.

Robinson said, "Child care keeps California working. So without the child care, it doesn't allow us to be able to continue to work."

Clearly low-income families need the program. But given California's finances, budget cuts may be inevitable.

April is usually the biggest tax month for the state. But receipts were very disappointing -- about $2 billion below expectations -- making the total budget deficit around $11 billion.

Sen. President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said, "I'd hoped that we wouldn't have to be looking at more cuts. But it's pretty clear we're going to have to."

Wall Street is keeping an extra close eye on California's state budget this year.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's doesn't like the fact that a judge took away the ability for lawmakers' pay to be docked for late budgets or ones that aren't balanced, opening the door for a spending plan full of accounting gimmicks and a credit downgrade.

Controller John Chiang has been warning Sacramento the cuts should have been made months ago.

Chiang said, "Any time you delay and kick the can down the road, it makes decision-making later much more difficult. If you wait longer, you're going to have to cut more deeply."

Deeper cuts worry Ericka Burgos of Bell Gardens, who might lose the program that could give her 2-year-old a leg up in life.

Burgos said, "Thanks to child care, kids get a better education and get developed more and once they go to school, they're a little bit more advanced than regular kids."

While voters won't get to decide on Governor Brown's tax initiative until November, maybe this month's Facebook IPO will bring much needed immediate relief to state coffers to save some programs.


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