Here Are The "Terrible, Absolutely Terrible" Cuts California Must Make To Balance The Budget

arnold schwarzenegger knife

California just hit its record 79th day without a budget. If it’s going to continue to operate as a state, California has two ways forward:

1) Borrow from pensions — which Schwarzenegger has considered — and count on a credit downgrade and a Greece-like problem.

2) Drop the axe on state services with “terrible, absolutely terrible cuts” — as Schwarzenegger called them in May.

It’s starting to looks like we’re headed for the latter.

AXED: Medicaid benefits

The Governor proposes cuts of $1.6 billion from Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. These include:

  • increasing payments and reducing services ($917 million)
  • eliminating eligibility for recent immigrants ($118 million)
  • eliminating day care for elderly and disabled ($104 million)
  • reducing eligibility to the minimum allowed under federal law ($532 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Health benefits for children

Proposed cuts include:

  • terminating the Health Families program ($596 million)
  • increasing premiums and eliminating vision benefits ($21.7 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: An employment program for poor families

Proposed cuts include:

  • terminating CalWORKs Program ($1.73 billion)

Photo: Protesters placed shoes outside the Capitol to protest CalWORKs budget cuts in 2009.
Source: California Budget Project

AXED: In-home care for the elderly

Proposed cuts include:

  • terminating the IHSS program ($1.42 billion)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: State Employees

Proposed cuts include:

  • reducing state workers' pay by 10 per cent ($1.04 billion)
  • reducing state pensions ($405.8 million)
  • issuing an executive order requiring state departments to reduce personnel costs by 5 per cent ($449.6 million)
  • providing cheaper health insurance ($152.8 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Education

Proposed cuts include:

  • reducing funding for school district central administration ($1.2 billion)
  • reducing funding for K-3 class size reduction ($550 million)
  • shifting some school administrative work to the private sector ($300 million)
  • eliminating funding for enrollment growth at state universities ($111.9 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Criminal justice programs

Proposed cuts include:

  • eliminating non-court required rehab programs and increasing the number of parolees assigned to each parole officer ($280 million)
  • reducing funding for trial court ($100 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Child care and foster care

Proposed cuts include:

  • reducing child care funding ($122.9 million)
  • eliminate funding for a foster kids program ($36 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Poverty assistance programs

Proposed cuts include:

  • reducing California's supplemental social security payments ($177.8 million)
  • terminating the California Food Assistance Program ($56.2 million)

Source: California Budget Project

AXED: Immigrant services

Proposed cuts include:

  • terminating the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants ($107.3 million)
  • eliminating benefits for recent immigrants ($22.5 million)

Source: California Budget Project

BONUS: Here's what got axed last year (so services were ALREADY threadbare)

Last year, cuts to fill a $60 billion gap included:

  • reduced funding for the Healthy Families program
  • eliminated coverage of dental, vision, and other services of Medicaid
  • reduced funding for day care for the elderly and disabled
  • reduced school aid, prompting state universities to increase tuition by 32%
  • cut or reduced programs for literacy, special needs education, and K-12 education
  • imposed furloughs and pay cuts for some state employees, as well as a hiring freeze

Source: California Budget Project

Meanwhile, guess who's getting a raise...

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