They said it would be bad, and it is. The governor is proposing the elimination of CalWorks, the state's welfare-to-work program, and drastic cuts in home health care for the elderly and disabled. No new tax hikes were proposed in his May revision. Schwarzenegger once again called for the reform of the budget and pension systems, which are two big culprits behind the state's $19.1-billion deficit. "If we had reform in place, we would not be facing this Sophie's choice," Schwarzenegger said this afternoon. "We talk about reform, but the lawmakers don't really have any interest in those reforms." As for federal help, the governor said that $700 million has been kicked in, with another $3.4 billion on the way. Schwarzenegger had asked Washington for almost $7 billion.
California no longer has low-hanging fruit. In fact, we don't have any medium-hanging fruit. We also don't have any high-hanging fruit. We literally have to take the ladder away from the tree and shake the whole tree.
From the LAT:
Elimination of CalWorks, the state's main welfare-to-work program, would affect 1.3 million people, including about 1 million children. Average family grants are around $500 per month. Abolishing those payments would save the state more than $1 billion, the administration said. Families would also lose state-subsidized day care under the governor's proposal; about 142,000 low-income children would be affected. The state would save $1.2 billion with such a cut. Preschool and after-school care would remain in place, as would some federally subsidized day care for the neediest children.
In-home healthcare for the elderly and disabled had been expected to be cut entirely, but the proposal calls for slashing a third of the program's budget. This, along with other programs, could be subject to court intervention, as it has in the past.
Democratic leaders said they won't let the [CalWorks] program be cut and have traveled to Washington to lobby California's congressional delegation. They said they will not dismantle core health and social programs, such as in-home care for seniors, welfare assistance for single mothers and health care for children.