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California hit with $1 billion in budget cuts to start the new year.

Ace December 16, 2011 0

Gov. Jerry Brown announced that nearly $1 billion in new state budget cuts will take effect as of Jan. 1 2012.  This will slash spending on higher education and ultimately eliminate funding for free school-bus services.

Also, services for the disabled, money for public libraries and funding for state prisons will be hit hard.

These reductions were built into the budget that Brown and lawmakers approved in June and were only set to start if revenue did not reach the level they had assumed.

On another note, Brown warned that more cuts are around the corner for 2012-13 that he will unveil next month after these ones take affect.

At a Capitol news conference, Brown said, “This is not the way we’d like to run California, but we have to live within our means,”. Brown also added that the cuts could have been worse.

The school budgets will now be reduced by about $330 million, including the $248 million that pays for buses. Los Angeles schools will bear $38 million of those transportation cuts.

Supt. John Deasy was not happy at all with this and announced that the district would file suit to block the state from taking those funds.

“We would have nothing left for transportation, the most vulnerable youth in Los Angeles would suffer irreparable harm.” Deasy Announced at Tuesdays school board meeting.

The governor expects the schools to pay for bus service out of their pockets, which is something that representatives from near by districts said they had planned to do. In all reality districts are required by federal law to provide transportation for certain special-education students as well as some low-performing students.

The chief of staff of the San Diego Unified School District, Bernie Rhinerson, announced that his district could survive the cuts without reducing its bus program. San Diego reduced bus service by about 25% last year, eliminating it for about 4,000 students and adding fees for some. not cool..

Other cuts that Gov. Brown announced Tuesday could also be prevented by the courts. One of which is a $100-million reduction for workers who care for the sick and elderly in their homes. Which is horrible..

Laphonza Butler , who is president of the union said, “Those cuts would place hundreds of thousands of fragile lives in jeopardy,”. Butler represents 180,000 home aides and nursing home workers. She also added, “We simply can’t balance our state’s budget on the backs of our most vulnerable residents.”

According to the Los Angeles Times “Brown also ordered $100 million in cuts to services for the developmentally disabled. Many of those services, such as specialized medical care, counseling and job training for the mentally ill, are offered through regional centers. Advocates fear the new reductions may force thousands into state-run institutions.”

Furthermore, The University of California and California State University systems are also getting hit with an additional $100-million cuts on top of the current $650-million they were hit with. Officials from both systems previously announced that they would not raise the tuition fees further this year. But as of Tuesday, tuition increases and further reductions to academic programs are definitely possible this upcomming next year.

On a side note, Community colleges are also expected to raise their fees an additional $10 per unit in order to counteract the state cuts.

The main issue is that these people that went through college experienced what it was like to have to work 20 hours, take 5 courses, and still barely have enough money in their banks to get by. The only difference is they didn’t have these cuts or increased fees on their shoulders, times were good.  So why attack the already weak. Why not find different solutions..

Enough with pointing the blame, “Democrats did it,” “No, Republicans are at fault.” Wake the fuck up and get it together already. Lives are at stake.



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