Schwarzenegger's child care cut hurts working California moms
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People in the Central Valley are just learning about a painful casualty of the new state budget. At the last minute, Governor Schwarzenegger cut a state funded child-care reimbursement program used by thousands of Fresno County families.
Tracie Garcia of Fresno works full-time for the county's department of social services.
Still, every month, the single mom struggles to pay child care expenses for her four sons ... ranging in age from four to eleven years old.
"When these three, when they're in school, I believe it's about 11-1200. Through the summer time, it's about 1600," said Garcia. "That's about what I make on one paycheck."
For years, Garcia has relied on extra money from CalWORK's stage three child care program. It's designed to help parents who have worked their way off Welfare ... but do not make enough to pay for child care services.
After a 100 day impasse, California legislators voted on a final budget Friday ... which included the state-funded program. But, at the last minute, Governor Schwarzenegger used his line item veto power to eliminate it ... effective October 31st.
Garcia said, "When I found out Monday, I was pretty devastated because I am the provider for them, and I can't imagine not being able to provide."
Garcia is among 60,000 Californians who use the program. In Fresno County, that breaks down to nearly 1500 families ... 3,000 children ... and more than $17.9 million in funding.
Local program supervisor Mandi Gonzales Arellano fears without the program, parents will be forced to quit their jobs.
Gonzales Arellano said, "A lot of families are saying, how am I going to work? How am I going to maintain a job while trying to find child care?"
Gonzales Arellano and the rest of her staff are also facing unemployment. She is urging parents to contact their representatives ... hoping they will be able to veto the cut. In Tracie Garcia's case ... her children would rather share their thoughts with the governor directly. So he can better understand the pain they say he's caused.
Reporter: "How does it make you feel to see your mom upset?"
Garcia's son said, "It makes me feel like I can't wait til a new governor comes in."
arnold schwarzenegger, california budget, state, shannon handy
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