Lawmakers Protest Davis’ Proposed Budget Reductions for Healthy Start Program
Some state lawmakers have expressed concern that Gov. Gray Davis' (D) proposed fiscal year 2003 budget does not include new funding for the state's Healthy Start program, the Sacramento Bee reports. Healthy Start offers a number of health-related services for children, including on-site counseling, referrals for dental or physical exams and testing for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other conditions. Davis' early budget proposal does not offer any new grants for Healthy Start, a move expected to save the state $39 million, according to state Finance Department spokesperson Sandy Harrison. Assembly members Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) and Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) have asked Davis to restore funding for the program in his revised budget proposal. But the state's "budget forecast has only gotten more glum" since Davis released his budget proposal in January, making more budget cuts likely, the Bee reports. Harrison said that the lack of new funding does not necessarily mean that Healthy Start centers will close this year because those with grants will continue to operate until their funding runs out. Chan said that she and other lawmakers are willing to "trade other education spending to save" Healthy Start (Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 5/10).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.