State Lawmakers Begin Trimming Budget, Propose $200M Cut for Health and Human Services
State lawmakers and Gov. Gray Davis (D) have started negotiations on the "politically unpleasant task" of scaling back the budget to add more than $1 billion to the state's reserve, and have proposed cuts in the state Health and Human Service Agency, the Los Angeles Times reports. Declining revenues and the threat of a future deficit have prompted Davis to attempt to save as much as $3 billion for the state's emergency fund. As part of the savings, Davis is considering cutting $200 million from the state Health and Human Services Agency. However, state Sen. Steve Peace (D-El Cajon), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said that Senate Democrats will "fight" to keep funding for a proposal to expand Healthy Families to parents of eligible children (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 6/20). Peace added that cuts to health and human services "should spare" Healthy Families. The budget committee began "chiseling away" at parts of the budget this week, after missing last Friday's deadline for sending a plan to Davis, who is required to sign a budget into law by July 1 (Quach, Orange County Register, 6/20).