Earlier this week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a budget plan sent to him by legislators to close the state’s deficit, but only after he used his line-item veto power to slash an additional $500 million in cuts.
According to the LA Times the additional cuts Schwarzenegger made Tuesday took funding from the most vulnerable:
• $80 million that pays for workers who help abused and neglected children
• $50 million from Healthy Families, which provides healthcare to children in low-income families
• $50 million from services for developmentally delayed children under age 3
• $16 million from domestic-violence programs
• $6.3 million from services for the elderly.
What do all these dollar amounts mean? Well, take for instance, The Domestic Violence Center in Santa Clarita Valley outside of Los Angeles who has lost 45% of their annual funding. In their case, unless the community steps in they will have to shut their doors as a result to these cuts.
Domestic violence service organizations often include shelters for victims and their families, these services are desperately needed in suburban and rural areas like the Santa Clarita Valley where there are very few organizations that can help. In this case,The Domestic Violence Center is the only agency that provides domestic violence services in the 200-square mile valley.
It’s easy to point the finger at Schwarzenegger, but the reality is that the California Legislature can override the governors veto power, but rather than deal with this issue, the Legislature went on vacation.