Democratic Commitment to Fight for Families, Keep Safety Net

SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly address, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) say as the legislature works to close the budget gap by June 30 Assembly Democrats will not “let the deficit be used as an excuse to eliminate the safety net in California and eviscerate our public education system.” Citing examples of Californians who have come to Sacramento in recent weeks to testify before the Budget Conference Committee, they say vulnerable Californians need balanced budget solutions to prevent the elimination of needed services.

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V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) Remarks (Spanish)

Transcript:

Hello, this is Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.

As Californians face uncertain economic times, the legislature is working hard to close the budget deficit by June 30 to avoid a cash crisis that can cause further economic hardship and damage the state’s fiscal future.

But as we work quickly to address the budget, Assembly Democrats will not let the deficit be used as an excuse to eliminate the safety net in California and eviscerate our public education system.

Californians want their legislators to make sensible decisions, not ideological ones.

For hundreds of Californians who came to Sacramento to testify before the Budget Conference Committee in recent weeks…and thousands more they represent, our decisions can literally be a matter of life or death.

We heard from a 24 year old woman born HIV positive who told us the Governor’s proposal will cut her off from the anti-viral drugs that will keep her alive.

A working mother described her family’s fear of what would happen if their health coverage was eliminated.

A man celebrating his 3 month anniversary of being clean and sober said he owed it to state-supported drug treatment counseling.

Even in these tough times there is money available that can be used to avoid eliminating California’s safety net-primarily from making smarter reductions, cutting the bureaucracy, cutting corporate welfare, and ending tax breaks for people making a half a million per year.

In the final weeks of June, Assembly Democrats will continue working on a fiscal package that makes sensible choices.

In addition to protecting our safety net, we have already identified more than half a billion dollars in extra education cuts the Governor wants that we will reject, and we know there is federal stimulus money available to backfill some of the other cuts.

This recession is not permanent but an all cuts budget would be for California.

Until our economy rebounds Democrats will be committed to making the balanced choices that will protect our state.

This has been Assembly Speaker Karen Bass

Thank you.