Chop-Chop, California

Updated 10:00pm 5/27/09: MUST READ on budget cuts to health and human services: check out the blog of Assemblymember Noreen Evans, Chair of California Budget Conference Committee.

Today, while some of us will be changing diapers for California’s next generation of voters,  some of our legislators in Sacramento will be holding a hearing that will weigh in heavily on the future of California’s most vulnerable children and families.  What’s the scoop?

Just yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger officially proposed to eliminate a bunch of state funded programs. On the chopping block include programs CalWORKS and Healthy Families.

According to their website, CalWORKS helps able bodied parents with children gain employment:

The CalWORKs program provides temporary financial assistance and employment focused services to families with minor children who have income and property below State maximum limits for their family size. Most able-bodied aided parents are also required to participate in the CalWORKs GAIN employment services program.

CalWORKS advocates argue that eliminating this program would send more of California’s vulnerable families out onto the street (Read: INCREASE of family homelessness).

California’s Healthy Families Program :

Healthy Families is low cost insurance for children and teens.
It provides health, dental and vision coverage to children who
do not have insurance and do not qualify for free Medi-Cal.

According to this fact sheetnearly 1 million California children would LOSE health insurance if the Healthy Families program were eliminated (READ: MORE children slipping through the healthcare system’s cracks).

Here is a GREAT article in the Los Angeles Times that puts a FACE and REAL LIFE stories to the Healthy Families program.

The legislative Budget Conference Committee (including members of the state Senate and Assembly) will be holding a public hearing on these proposed program cuts. Hopefully, they will be talking LONG and HARD about the long term impact such program cuts would have on family homelessness and child welfare in California.

What can YOU do to help?

  1. CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS:  Tell them you are VERY concerned about the immediate and long term impact eliminating CalWORKS and Healthy Families will have on family homelessness and child welfare. Click here to find out who your representatives are.
  2. CONTACT THE GOVERNOR:  Click here for Governor Schwarzenegger’s contact information.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD:  Blog about it, Tweet it, or Facebook this action item to your network.

Below is a list of legislators who are on the budget conference committee. If you reside in these cities, please take some time out of your day to contact your representative.

Assemblymember Noreen Evans (Democrat – Santa Rosa) – Chair

Assemblymember Kevin de León (Democrat – Los Angeles)

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (Democrat – Woodland Hills)

Assemblymember Roger Niello (Republican – Fair Oaks)

Assemblymember Jim Nielsen (Republican – Gerber)

Senator Denise Ducheny (Democrat – San Diego)

Senator Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco)

Senator Alan Lowenthal (Democrat – Long Beach)

Senator Bob Dutton (Republican – Rancho Cucamonga)

Senator Mimi Walters (Republican – Laguna Hills)

Please help us continue the dialogue by posting your comments below. We especially welcome those of you who work with families vulnerable to these program cuts.