First 5 Commissions Eye Spending Cuts for FY 2012
First 5 commissions in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are preparing for service cuts and layoffs in response to significantly reduced budgets in fiscal year 2012. In March, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 99 as part of a state spending package. The bill authorizes the state to take about half of each First 5 commission's fund balance as of July 30. State officials said the funds will go toward children's services under Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. Several counties have filed lawsuits over the funding shift. First 5 Riverside commissioners have approved more than $16 million in cuts to 40 programs, including children's health and mental health screenings. Meanwhile, First 5 San Bernardino Executive Director Karen Scott said her office plans to increase efficiency and leave vacant positions unfilled to reduce spending.
- "First 5 Riverside Reduces Money for Child Health, Education" (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/8).