(MODESTO, CA) – Dozens of local women came together today to urge Valley legislators to join them in supporting Governor Brown’s balanced approach to closing the state budget gap in order to avoid deeper cuts that will hurt Californians, especially women of all ages.
The Modesto women who gathered today at the downtown Flower Clock are among the local families, educators, parents, and business owners who have put aside their differences to support Governor Brown’s plan to close the state’s budget gap, recognizing a balanced approach is needed to protect jobs and move California’s economic recovery forward. The Governor’s plan includes cuts already signed into law which will start to go into effect in the coming weeks. The plan also includes a proposal to maintain existing revenues.
In a news conference, the group of Modesto women demonstrated the far-ranging and deep impact billions of dollars in state budget cuts have already had on women and their families across California:
- $18 billion in education cuts made over the last three years have resulted in bigger class sizes, less classroom time, and layoffs of teachers, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers.
- As a result of cuts made this year, 60,000 children will lose child care their families need in order to keep working.
- 120,000 children will lose Healthy Families coverage because their families can’t afford higher premiums
- 7.7 million Californians, a majority of whom are women, will feel the effects of higher premiums, caps on doctor’s visits, and fewer providers through the Medi-Cal program.
- 1.1 million seniors and people with disabilities will absorb cuts in cash payments for food and rent.
- 43,000 Californians who need access to home care to stay safe at home may lose this critical service.
- 240,000 children with developmental disabilities like autism, Down’s syndrome and mental retardation will have critical services cut.
More than half of the seniors affected by the cuts are women, so more deep cuts will be especially damaging to Modesto’s grandmothers and elderly women.
“Seniors are already struggling to get by after taking cuts from every direction. We like to say in our society that we respect our elders, but we can’t say that if we keep making cuts that hurt them,” said Mary Stanley, an 83 year-old senior from Fresno who urged legislators to “stand up for California” and stop deeper cuts to services that seniors rely on to maintain their health and independence. “Cutting back on meals, transportation services, in-home care and adult day health care means that more seniors are going to struggle with accidents, hunger, health problems, and unnecessary institutionalization.”
“Our children have one shot at each grade, one shot at a good education, and while I am huge believer in lifelong learning, I also believe that missing opportunities early can often narrow person’s opportunities for the rest of their lives. We can do better than this,” added Barbara Manrique, a retired high school and college instructor.