(YUCAIPA, CA) – With critical budget decisions expected to be made in Sacramento in the next three weeks, parents and community members paid a “home visit” to Assemblymember Cook’s office today to tell their legislator how budget cuts already made have taken a heart-wrenching toll on their families and the communities Cook represents.
Saying Inland Empire families have already suffered too much from extreme cuts, Cook’s neighbors and constituents asked him to join the many diverse voices – from teachers and parents to business owners and law enforcement officials — who have put aside their differences to support maintaining existing revenues in order to protect schools, seniors, and public safety from more cuts.
The group of Yucaipa area residents detailed the impact budget cuts already made have taken on their families and communities, noting that they are representative of thousands more families locally and across California who have been hit from every direction:
- 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.
- 19,000 teachers have just received pink slips, and may not return to school this fall if existing revenues expire July 1.
If existing revenues are not maintained – the approach some legislators prefer — $10 billion more in state budget cuts would pull the rug out from under vulnerable seniors, slash funding for law enforcement even as crime is rising, and chop up to a month off our kids’ school year.
- An all-cuts budget this year will force billions 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, San Bernardino County schools could lose more than $300 million if revenues are not extended.
- When our public safety resources are already stretched to the limit, another $10 billion in state budget cuts would mean thousands of police officers, firefighters and paramedics would lose their jobs. That’s why San Bernardino County Sherriff Rod Hoops and law enforcement officials across the state support extending existing revenues rather than sacrificing our public safety to an all-cuts budget.
“Asm. Cook says he cares about our seniors, and in the coming weeks we’re going to see if his actions match his words,“ said Susan Adams, a local senior. “Another $10 billion in cuts will put every part of the already tattered safety net for seniors at risk. We’re counting on Asm. Cook to stop the extreme cuts and protect seniors.”
“College is the gateway to a better future,” said Marsela Fonseca, a student at CSU San Bernardino. “Making deeper cuts will put our future in jeopardy.” “Asm. Cook enjoyed the advantages of a strong, well-funded public system of higher education in California and has even taught higher education courses here,” said Natalie Dorado, “so he understands. We are counting on him to extend the same opportunity to the younger generation.”
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These Yucaipa area families are among the teachers, parents, seniors, business owners law enforcement officials and others who have put aside their differences to support maintaining existing revenues to help close the state’s budget gap and move California’s economic recovery forward. This balanced approach recognizes that with $13 billion in cuts already made to critical services this year, protecting the jobs and services that are critical to California’s recovery requires maintaining existing revenues. For more information on how more budget cuts will our families and communities, visit www.standupforca.org.