Fresh Approach Needed for California Recovery

Governor-elect Jerry Brown is convening a special budget forum in the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the tough choices California will have to make to address the state’s $25.4 billion budget deficit over the next year and a half.

We’ve made billions in cuts to health and human services over the last few years, and it hasn’t fixed the deficit. If anything, it’s put our state in a far more vulnerable position as thousands of people have been forced out of work during the worst economic recession since the 1930s.

That’s why a new approach is needed.

Governor-elect Brown’s forum is an opportunity to start a new dialogue and pave the way for a new, more sustainable approach to how we budget for our priorities in California. You can help frame this dialogue by writing a letter to the editor of YOUR local newspaper!

And to help get the conversation started – here are a few suggested talking points:

  • We’ve made billions of dollars in cuts to health and human services over the last 5 years, and it hasn’t fixed the deficit.  In fact, these cuts have forced tens of thousands of people out of work during the greatest recession since the 1930s, and created huge problems for people in [YOUR COUNTY].

  • Cuts that cost California more down the road, like cuts to [PROGRAM YOU CARE ABOUT], are irresponsible.

  • Instead of just cutting preventive services, legislators need to take a good, hard look at the $20 billion California now spends each year supporting corporate tax breaks that aren’t helping to create jobs.   Genentech & Comcast both got big tax breaks for “job creation” this year, and then laid off over 1,000 workers in California – that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and we need to stop it.

  • Why are we giving billions in taxpayer dollars to corporations without making sure the credits are really creating jobs, while cutting billions from health care and other basic services that help hard-working families, seniors and people with disabilities?

There are more effective and sustainable solutions to California’s budget problems. Instead, we should:

  • Focus on improving the health and human services prevention services that California has  been moving toward over the last ten years, because preventing health and social problems early saves taxpayer dollars in the long run.

  • Put all state spending – including tax subsidies for business – to a rigorous “jobs test,” and prioritize spending on those areas and programs with a demonstrable impact in creating and retaining jobs for Californians.

  • Finally, we should end the practice of turning away billions in federal matching dollars through massive cuts to essential health and social services.


Remember:

  • Letters to editors should be concise and on point.
  • Keep your letter to 150 words or less
  • When submitting, be sure to include your name, phone number, organization & address.


Save the Date: CAP Budget Forum

California Partnership is hosting a post-election forum in OAKLAND on FRIDAY December 10th and you’re invited to participate! To learn how you can get involved, and more for details, please contact HHS Network Field Coordinator Astrid Campos at acampos@communitychange.org.

Event Details:

Post-Election Forum
St. Mary’s Center, 925 Brockhurst Street, Oakland, CA
Friday, December 10th
, 10am – 11.30am

More of the Same: Gov. Schwarzenegger unveils special session budget

On Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his special session budget calling for devastating cuts to California’s health and human services infrastructure – including the proposed elimination of CalWORKS, steep cuts to cash grants for seniors and people with disabilities, and substantial cuts to health care services and programs, including the elimination of vision coverage for kids.

If the Governor’s special session budget proposals seem familiar, that’s because they are. Assembly Speaker John Perez called the Governor’s latest package of deep cuts a “rehash of proposals we have already considered and rejected,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Click here to read more about Gov. Schwarzenegger’s latest “cuts-only” solution to the state budget.

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