Update on California's Budget and Stand With Women - Women's Foundation California

As many of you know, a few weeks we launched Stand with Women, a campaign to reject budget cuts that would hurt the women and children of our state. We were deeply touched to see that thousands of people sent letters to California legislators and Governor Jerry Brown to let them know that this issue mattered to them personally.

I’m happy to report that these actions made a difference for critical programs that help low-income families break the cycle of poverty. The letters and phone calls resulted in a final budget that:

  • Doesn’t cut Cal Grants for public university and college students.
  • Doesn’t restructure CalWORKs, the welfare-to-work program that serves 1.4 million poor Californians, 1 million of whom are children.
  • Doesn’t lower the market rate reimbursement for child care providers, which would have put many quality providers out of business and had a devastating effect on parents who rely upon them.
  • Doesn’t move child care under the Department of Social Services. Child care remains the responsibility of the Department of Education, as it should considering that child care needs to support children’s educational development.

However, our fight didn’t end when Governor Brown signed the budget. Cuts were made—and those cuts will chip away at the programs that make it possible for low-income women and families to lift themselves out of poverty. There are now 26,000 fewer child care slots for needy children, leaving parents with fewer child care options while they’re at work or attending school. Time on CalWORKs has been reduced from four years to two. In a difficult economy, two years is rarely enough time for families to establish economic security.

Furthermore, California’s budget problems are not over. As a result, these precious programs remain vulnerable to future cuts. It’s going to take the efforts of many, many people to make sure that we have a better outcome in next year’s budget. In the months to come, we’ll follow be strategizing, devising ways and partnering with you to make sure that the lives of low-income women and families are valued in the halls of Sacramento.

Thank you for standing with women.

For links to related stories:

Please tell Governor Brown to Pass the Legistature’s Budget

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