Who’s Bearing the Budget Burden?

You don’t see three-year-olds protesting in the streets over budget cut proposals, sippy cups and blankets in tow. Or ten-year-olds testifying before the Budget Conference Committee. Or seven-year-olds quoted in budget stories in the newspaper. But as a new CBP fact sheet shows, it’s the state’s children and youth that would be disproportionately affected by the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to education, health care, and human services programs.

A new CBP analysis shows that the Governor’s proposal for additional cuts to K-12 education—beyond cuts already included in the February budget agreement—means $448 less for each public school student. Eliminating the CalWORKs Program would end cash assistance to more than 1.1 million children. More than 940,000 children would join the rolls of the uninsured if the Healthy Families Program is eliminated. Eliminate the Cal Grants Program and college becomes out of reach for approximately 300,000 of the state’s young people.

Who do you picture when you imagine a CalWORKs recipient? Again, picture young faces: nearly four out of five CalWORKs recipients are children.

— Lisa Gardiner