Schwarzenegger Budget Agreement Slashes California's Social Safety Net

This is simply unconscionable. The pain as a result of shredding the state's safety net will set off a new round of public tragedies -- which of course are always preferable to raising taxes: The head of California's senate announced late Friday

This is simply unconscionable. The pain as a result of shredding the state's safety net will set off a new round of public tragedies -- which of course are always preferable to raising taxes:

The head of California's senate announced late Friday that the legislature reached an agreement with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger over the state budget and closing its 19.1 billion dollar deficit.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg made the announcement to reporters in Sacramento surrounded by three other senior California legislators.

California has been without a spending plan since the new budget year began on July 1.

Steinberg said that legislators will return next week to finalize their "comprehensive agreement," and could hold votes on Thursday.

"These are very difficult circumstances in difficult times," Steinberg said, according to The Sacramento Bee. "Not a lot of celebrating. But we all stepped up and did the work we had to do."

California will likely be forced to cut back public spending to bridge its massive budget deficit.

[...] In mid-May Schwarzenegger unveiled plans to plug the deficit by slashing billions of dollars worth of funding for services designed to help the state's poor.

His budget proposal called for 12.4 billion dollars in spending cuts, including the elimination of California's welfare-to-work program and virtually all child care for low income families.

Schwarzenegger's proposed spending cuts would also eliminate 60 percent of funding for community mental health, and low income families would also lose access to state-subsidized day care for children.

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