March 24, 2011
Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan public policy research group, released this statement following the Governor’s signing legislation implementing deep cuts to state spending:
“California’s massive budget shortfall driven by the nation’s still weak economy has resulted in deep cuts that will limit young Californians’ ability to obtain a college education, place thousands of the state’s children at risk of homelessness, and make it immeasurably tougher for parents to move from welfare to work.
“The Governor’s approval of this portion of the budget package moves California half way towards a balanced budget. Closing the rest of the gap, while preparing California for the future, requires a balanced approach; cuts alone cannot be the answer.
“California must protect our core public systems and structures in order to secure a prosperous future and pave the way for an economic recovery. To that end, lawmakers need to complete the job and set the state on a path to a balanced budget by eliminating costly and ineffective Enterprise Zones; ending redevelopment subsidies that take money from schools and public safety without producing promised benefits; and closing tax breaks that actually encourage businesses to move jobs out of California.
“Difficult times require cooperation and compromise. California’s requirement for a supermajority vote to increase revenues – a threshold that only 12 states in the nation have to meet – has become a major obstacle to governing and fiscal responsibility. For that reason, voters deserve to make a clear up-or-down choice about California’s future with a June ballot measure that maintains funding for public schools and protects core local services.”
February 7, 2011
Safe and stable child care is essential to low- and moderate-income parents’ ability to find and hold on to jobs. It’s also expensive. As we show in our Making Ends Meet report, which estimates how much it costs to raise a family in California, the cost of care for two children takes up about 20 percent of a single-parent family’s basic budget – the amount needed to cover essential needs without public or private assistance. That equates to more than $1,000 per month for child care in many counties, a cost that is clearly prohibitive for low- and moderate-income families.
California’s child care programs offer a solution for tens of thousands of families in which parents are working, looking for work, or participating in training. These programs help families access safe, reliable, and affordable child care and serve more than 300,000 children every month, as we point out in our new chartbook, Key Facts About Child Care and Development Programs in California. However, the Governor’s Proposed 2011-12 Budget includes deep cuts to child care, including shifting potentially hundreds of dollars in costs each month to low- and moderate-income families. These proposed cuts would reduce total funding for California’s child care and development programs – which also include state preschool and afterschool – by more than 18 percent between 2010-11 and 2011-12, with almost all of the impact falling on child care programs. In fact, preschool and afterschool funding would remain essentially flat in 2011-12 compared to recent years, after adjusting for inflation. As the Legislature seeks a balanced approach to closing the budget gap, we hope that policymakers will adopt “solutions” that recognize that child care assistance is more important than ever as parents struggle to find or hold on to jobs in the wake of the Great Recession.
– Scott Graves