ARNOLD and my FRIENDS–Ako ang nagkodak kaya wala ako sa eksena.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, acknowledging that the Golden States faces tough economic times, proposed an austere budget for the next fiscal year that would take billions of dollars from public schools.
His proposals are devastating: closing state parks, phasing out need-based grants to college students, eliminating the Healthy Families program providing medical, dental and vision care to 90,000 children, end a welfare-to-work CalWorks program that would save $1.8 billion in state dollars and cost the state $3.7 billion in federal matching funds – and borrow $2 billion in property taxes from struggling counties. And it gets worse. Another $3 billion in cuts, including a 5 percent across-the-board pay cut for state workers. Some skeptical Californians might wonder if these draconian cuts, which strike at the heart of popular programs, are political drama in response to the voters’ rejection of the budget-rescue package that was crafted by the governor and legislative leaders.
CUTS:The governor’s proposed higher education budget would leave UC and California State University hundreds of millions of dollars short of expected costs next year – even after significant tuition increases. The governor proposed a $5.5 billion state allocation for the UC system and a $4.4 billion allocation for CSU – about the same as this year’s allocation after a proposed 10 percent, across-the-board cut to all state agencies. Schwarzenegger’s proposal includes a 10 percent fee increase for CSU students and at least a 7 percent hike for UC undergraduates. His proposed budget for next year would still leave CSU $312 million short and UC about $400 million shy of costs.
WHAT IT MEANS: In addition to raising student fees, CSU and UC officials probably would consider cost-saving measures such as limiting enrollment, cutting courses, increasing class size and reducing staff.
CUTS:The governor wants an immediate cut of $360 million from K-12 schools and $40 million from community colleges, That would mean withholding $4 billion from kindergarten through community colleges. Under his proposal, schools and community colleges would get $39.6 billion from the state’s general fund instead of the $43.6 billion owed under Prop. 98.
WHAT IT MEANS: Schools cannot legally dismiss teachers in the current year. So to save cash immediately, schools may opt not to fill empty positions, or may cancel orders for books they had hoped to buy. But in anticipation of deeper cuts next year, when per-pupil funding could drop to $8,458 from the current $8,558, teachers could get dismissal warnings for next school year as early as this March.
CUTS:The governor wants to reduce the inmate population by 35,000, including 22,000 who would be let out of prison 20 months early over the next two years. No inmate who has committed a serious or violent felony or a crime involving a sex offense would be freed early. Other inmates would be released under other programs, including 6,250 lower-risk inmates who would be placed on “summary” parole, under which they would still be subject to drug testing and searches by police but could not be returned to prison for technical parole violations unless they were prosecuted locally. Some 6,000 prison jobs would be cut, including 2,000 guards through layoffs.
WHAT IT MEANS: Reducing the state’s prison population of 172,000 would save taxpayers $250 million the first year of the proposal.
CUTS:The governor would save on welfare spending by eliminating families from the rolls if parents don’t meet minimum work requirements. As it is now, payments are reduced but some funding for children remains. Schwarzenegger’s proposal would save $73.7 million this year and $389.1 million next. The governor would cut $83.7 million next year in child welfare payments. He proposes reductions of $23.3 million this year and $300.3 million next year in supplemental security income for low-income people who are elderly, blind or disabled by suspending cost-of-living adjustments. Foster care programs would be slashed by $6.8 million this year and $81.5 million next.
WHAT IT MEANS: The administration estimates 74,600 families would be removed from the welfare rolls. Group homes, foster families and adoption programs would receive less money, affecting 3,300 foster care children.
Thus far, Schwarzenegger has proposed devastating spending cuts that would eliminate popular health care, welfare and college cash grant programs, cause up to 80 percent of state parks to close and result in the release of thousands of inmates from California prisons.
Who are the most affected by the Governor’s cut?
Let me tell you about Nana Conching.
For 20 years, Nana Conching has lived with compulsive slot machine disorder. A few years ago she learned she had cancer. Then diabetes. Now Nana Conching wondering how she’ll pay for critical medical care if the governor’s proposed budget cuts are implemented.
Every week Nana Conching, a Long Beach resident who lives on $736 a month in government assistance, sees a therapist. She takes anti-depression medications and occasionally sees a dentist. These services are paid by the state, but under the governor’s budget plan, they would be eliminated to Medi-Cal recipients like Nana Conching.
“If I have to pay medical bills, I won’t be able to buy food or pay my rent,” said Nana Conching, 70 years old.
Aiming to slash $1.1 billion from Medi-Cal, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented a budget plan Thursday that would reduce reimbursement to providers – such as doctors and community clinics – by 10 percent, and cut podiatry, hearing and vision services to adults, among other proposed cuts. Additionally, as part of a proposed $11 million cut in state funding of AIDS programs, certain medications would no longer be covered.
Outraged, many health care experts said that essential services are on the cutting block, critically affecting millions of people, especially poor, older adults and the disabled. The state has 6.6 million people receiving Medi-Cal.
These cuts affect people’s access to care and quality of care, doctor’s clinics – where Medi-Cal is the backbone of financial support – provide care to 70,000 patients a year.These cuts would be devastating to their clinics, Many of patients are (far) below the poverty level.
Patients will probably have to pay out of pocket for some services, they won’t be able to afford it, and as a result they won’t be able to get the medical care they need and they will die. People with chronic physical and mental disabilities can’t put their medical needs on hold.
she’s hoping to have her teeth fixed. One of her bottom teeth recently fell out – she repaired it with Krazy Glue.
“What is wrong with the governor?” Said Nana Conching “How can he cut people away from dentists? Now I need to repair my broken pustiso with Krazy Glue”.