15 May 2010

The May Revise

The Governor's revised budget is out. As widely anticipated, it's a mean, nasty budget, aimed mostly at cutting services for the elderly, the poor, and the sick and disabled. The Governor's proposal do do completely away with CalWORKS would affect about 1.4 million people in California, and withdraw support for families of the unemployed including one million children.

The Governor's budget for K-12 and higher education is in line with the January budget, meaning a small increase in funding for UC, CSU and CC over last year's deep cuts (not enough to even making up for years of decline). Some have seen here a clear gamble: threaten to turn California into the only state without a welfare-to-work program, and force the Democrats in the legislature to agree  to cuts in education in return for not annihilating CalWORKS. Since K-12 is protected by Prop. 98 (and accounts for roughly $35 billion of the $83 billion budget), and the revised budget already targets state employees' salaries and benefits, we can expect such cuts, if the Democrats fall in the Governor's trap, to affect higher ed to a greater degree.

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