(HANFORD, CA) – Dozens of local seniors, parents, students and community allies converged on Assemblymember David Valadao’s office today to demand he show real leadership and stand up to extremists in his party who continue to block a balanced approach to the state budget.
The group urged Asm. Valadao (R-Hanford) to protect local seniors, schools and public safety services from more devastating cuts by support Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget approach. The Governor’s plan includes deep cuts already enacted as well as extensions of existing revenues.
“We’re calling on Assemblymember Valadao to stop hiding behind generalities and abstractions and tell us where he would make the cuts locally. Whose jobs would he cut in Sheriff Robinson’s Department? In District Attorney Strickland’s office? Which crimes should not be prosecuted? How many teachers should be let go in Kings County?” said Mark Trezza, a Hanford resident and professor at Fresno City College. “It’s easy to take an abstract position against government. It’s a lot tougher to deal with the reality of more budget cuts in our community.”
By refusing even to maintain already existing revenues, Valadao’s approach to the budget would force $13 billion more in cuts – pulling the rug out from under vulnerable seniors, slashing law enforcement even as crime is rising, and chopping up to a month off our kids’ school year.
“I’m extremely disappointed that Assemblymember Valadao has stood on the sidelines and let extremists in his party block the solutions we need in order to protect our schools and health care for seniors and families. I’m here to ask him to be the leader our community needs,” said Mary Gonzales-Gomez, a member of the board of the Corcoran Unified School District.
At today’s news conference, the group urged Asm. Valadao to consider the far-ranging and deep impact of cuts already made and the devastating consequences that will result if existing revenues are not extended:
- Under cuts already signed into law, 43,000 seniors and people with disabilities in California may lose access to the home care they need to stay safely at home
- Cuts made earlier this year will mean 60,000 children will lose the child care their families need in order to keep working.
- An all-cuts budget this year will force between $4 and 5 billion in additional cuts to California schools, which will result in tens of thousands of additional layoffs and shorten the school year in many districts by as much as 30 days.
Locally, if revenue is not extended, an all cuts budget would mean deep education cuts to the counties represented by Asm Valadao, including:
- Fresno County, $140 million
- Kern County, $125 million
- Kings County, $21 million
- Tulare County, $70 million
Up to 100 Kern County Sheriff’s deputies could lose their jobs, according to the Senate Budget Committee, and over the past year and a half, in Fresno County over 15,000 inmates have been released early as a result of public safety budget cuts, and auto thefts are on the rise.
# # #
These Valley families are among the teachers, parents, students, seniors and business owners who have put aside their differences to support Governor Brown’s balanced approach to closing the state’s budget gap and move California’s economic recovery forward. The governor’s plan includes cuts he has already signed into law and a proposal to maintaining existing revenues which has been held up by a minority of partisan gridlock.