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Brown's budget proposal upsets some women

May 14, 2012 7:29:52 PM PDT
Faced with a budget gap far higher than anyone projected, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a new combination of spending cuts and tax increases to ease the state's latest budget crisis. Specifically he's calling for $8.3 billion in spending cuts beginning July 1, 2012 and $5.9 billion in new taxes, which would not start until next year.

There is a chorus of criticism not only directed at the budget cuts, but the governor himself for rolling out the proposal.

A small group in San Jose is united with others speaking out against the governor's proposed social service cuts.

"This rally is part of actions being held all across California with events being held in Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside and Sacramento," said Todd Teixeira from the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center.

An organization called "9 To 5" says the May budget revision hurts women more than any other group and argues the cuts will have a devastating impact on the Welfare to Work program called CalWORKs.

"I am an outcome, a successful outcome, of what that program can do for a person if it's utilized," said Hope Holland.

The demonstrators marched to the second floor at the State Building in San Jose and delivered what they called an "unhappy Mother's Day card." A representative for St. Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, says there are no easy solutions. He said, "It's a huge undertaking. It's almost really difficult to understand and fathom what $16 billion is."

Voters will also have a say in just how deep the cuts go. The governor's plan relies on Californians approving a quarter percent sales tax increase for the next three years and a 3 percent income tax hike on the highest wage earners for seven years.

"3 percent more on the rich? Why not 5 percent, 6 percent? They've been on a tax holiday too. No, I think we have to pay for our services," said Lizandro Carrasco, a state senate district representative.

Even if voters pass the tax initiative, there will be more than $8 billion in program cuts -- a proposal that has already angered some of Brown's former supporters.

"And for him to do this and let down me and my children and my grandson is outrageous. I don't know how he sleeps at night," said Sara Gonzales, a CalWORKs recipient.

The debate in Sacramento has already begun over the May revision and time is of the essence to be on time. A balanced budget must be delivered by June 15.


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