Thursday, June 4, 2009

Statement from California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on the Proposed May Revise

Cruel doesn’t even begin to describe the cuts proposed in the revised May budget to eliminate California’s $24-billion budget deficit.

Nearly two million Californians will lose health insurance if the Healthy Families program for children is eliminated and Medi-Cal is cut by $1 billion. More than 1 million women and children will be left without any means of subsistence if the CalWORKS program is ended. California kids and young adults will suffer if the Cal Grant program is axed and billions more dollars are cut from public education. Another 5,000 people will land on our unemployment rolls, struggling to pay rent and buy groceries, if plans go forward to lay off 5,000 state workers. The grim list goes on.

The defeat of five budget-related propositions on the May 19th special election ballot was not a mandate for a cuts-only or mostly-cuts budget that will force the aged, blind, and disabled further into poverty. Nor was it a mandate for a budget that will hurt everyone from school kids to park lovers.

Rather, California voters sent the message that they want lawmakers and the governor to work together toward a budget that realistically looks at the services we all need and how to pay for them.

Last December, legislative Democrats passed an $18-billion plan to reduce the state deficit. If the governor had not vetoed that sensible package, California would have no need to even discuss the Draconian proposals now on the table.

This only underscores why it’s so critical to elect a Democratic governor in 2010. The California Democratic Party will do everything in its power to make this happen.

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