July 2010 E-Newsletter
THE BUDGET DELAY
For the 17th time in 20 years, Sacramento has blown the budget deadline. Make no mistake, I am saddened to see another deadline missed because it will disrupt the lives of millions of Californians.
The inability to meet the June 15 deadline is due to true philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans.
The delay also reflects the inability of either party to gather the necessary two-thirds majority needed to pass a budget as well as the Governor’s failure to convince lawmakers to approve his version of the budget.
For me the central question boils down to: Is an ill-conceived budget that is passed on time better than a carefully crafted, well-thought budget that is adopted past the deadline?
We cannot afford to gamble with our economy and risk putting thousands of small employers out of business. The University of California-Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education determined the Governor’s proposed cuts would cost our state 331,000 full-time equivalent jobs and increase the unemployment rate by 1.8 percentage points. I will not vote for a budget that puts more Californians out of work.
I will say this: The Governor’s budget was helpful because it is a starting point to begin negotiations and move forward.
Our fragile economy is teetering between a slow recovery and a double-dip recession or, perhaps, a depression. I believe we are at a crucial point that will shape California’s future for decades.
Today, we are fighting for people’s economic survival. There are some economists who wonder if the U.S. is sliding into a depression that will leave the unemployed with no hope of finding a job. We need jobs so the middle class can spend and invest and put their children through college.
In general, I believe we must take a balanced approach to the budget. But, we must also seriously evaluate tax loopholes designed to create jobs but may not being doing so or fee increases that have wide public support, such as enacting an oil severance tax on petroleum companies.
I recognize the value of fiscal restraint – my work as a Santa Clara County supervisor and San Jose councilman is solid proof. But, meat axe cuts such as eliminating CalWorks or gutting In-Home Support Services (IHSS) during an era of joblessness will not revive our economy but retard it. CalWorks not only channels single parents off welfare to work but the economy gains $1.47 for each dollar spent on CalWorks.
We need real solutions for complex problems. I have support the budget proposal advanced by Assembly Speaker John Pérez. It is a plan that protects families and creates more jobs instead of slashing vital programs and throwing more people out of work.
TOWN HALL UPDATES
Last month, I met with more than 900 people who attended town halls about how the cuts to CalWorks and IHSS will affect them.
Many who came to the CalWorks forum explained how the welfare-to-work program helped get them through college and put them on a career track so their families could thrive.
IHSS consumers told me how the program helps them stay in their own homes instead of living in institutionalized, care facilities at much higher costs.
They provided me with letters and cards that I’ll take with me to Sacramento to give to the Governor’s office and other legislators.
If you missed the March 2 Cal Grant deadline AND you plan to attend a community college in the fall, you have until Sept. 2 to apply. But hurry, the number of Cal Grant awards is limited to 11,250 statewide. Click here for more information.
The evening of Tuesday, Aug. 3, marks the 27th anniversary of National Night Out, a program aimed at bringing communities and neighborhoods together to raise awareness about crime and drug prevention. Last year, more than 36 million people across the country participated in the event.
Spaces are still available for the SJB Child Development Centers’ and First 5 Santa Clara County’s program that provides meals and supervised recreation for children up to five years old.
Eligible families must be CalWorks or who meet the Needy Family Eligibility criteria can sign their children up.
The spaces are available at two sites:
- SJB Noble CDC, 3466 Grossmont Dr., San Jose
- SJB Northwood CDC, 2760 E. Trimble Rd., San Jose
Parents can sign up their children by visiting the sites or phoning 408-859-6736.