Judge Halts Cuts Made to State Child Care Service in CalWORKS
On Friday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill issued a temporary restraining order to block funding reductions to a state child care program, the Los Angeles Times reports (Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times, 10/30).Â
When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signedÂ the budget package last month, he used line-item vetoes to eliminate $256 million from the child care program for beneficiaries of CalWORKS, California's welfare-to-work program.
The governor's line-item vetoes, which reduced state spending by almost $1 billion, also targeted funding for:
- Community health clinics;
- HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs; and
- Mental health services for special education students (California Healthline, 10/29).
Details of Ruling
Carvill's ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed on Thursday by the:
- Child Care Law Center;
- Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles;
- Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County;
- Public Counsel Law Center;
- Public Interest Law Project; and
- Western Center on Law and Poverty (Rohrs, Vallejo Times-Herald, 10/30).
According to the lawsuit, the California Department of Education did not properly provide families with information about alternative child care programs once the cuts were made (Murphy, Oakland Tribune, 10/29).
The funding cuts to the child care program were set to take effect on Monday (Van Oot, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 10/29). The judge's ruling means that the program will continue for an estimated 60,000 families (Los Angeles Times, 10/30).
Carvill ordered the state to fund the child care programs until Nov. 5 (Oakland Tribune, 10/30).
Alternatives To Restore Funds
Democratic leaders have promised to try to restore funding for child care services in January when the state's new governor takes office.
Assembly Speaker John PÃ©rez (D-Los Angeles) had pledged $6 million from the Assembly's budget to extend the child care subsidy.
The First 5 Los Angeles Commission recently offered to contribute as much as $15 million to help restoreÂ the child care subsidy. First 5 funds early childhood health care and education programs through revenues from California's tobacco tax (California Healthline, 10/29).
ForÂ additional coverageÂ on the judge's ruling, see today's Features article.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.