State programs that help California’s neediest residents would be significantly cut or outright eliminated under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s updated spending plan announced Friday.
Schwarzenegger proposed ending the entire state welfare program along with most state-subsidized child care, cutting mental health services by 60 percent and considerably slashing in-home care services for elderly, sick and disabled people. Those cuts, along with others, would save the state an estimated $12 billion in the year starting July 1.
“California no longer has low-hanging fruits, we don’t have any medium-hanging fruits and we also don’t have any high-hanging fruits,” Schwarzenegger said. “We have to take the ladder from the tree and shake the whole tree.”
But the Republican governor refused to suspend the implementation of corporate tax breaks that will cost the state $2.1 billion.
That stance infuriated Democrats. Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego, the chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, said the decision shows the governor believes “corporate tax breaks that do not exist today have more value than the children of California.”
While slashing some state services, Schwarzenegger fulfilled his pledge to increase the budgets for the University of California and California State University systems.