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Female Legislators Oppose Budget Cuts To Women’s And Children’s Programs

Female legislators and community leaders met on the steps of the capitol Wednesday to protest cuts in the governor’s proposed budget they say unfairly target women and children.

Female Calif. legislators and community leaders protest cuts to women and children's programs in Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget, on the steps of the state capitol in Sacramento, California on August 8, 2010.
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Above: Female Calif. legislators and community leaders protest cuts to women and children's programs in Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget, on the steps of the state capitol in Sacramento, California on August 8, 2010.

Senator Loni Hancock complains that budget cuts in previous years have already worn down programs that focus on women’s health and safety and child care programs. Hancock, like her fellow lawmakers, wore a sticker in the shape of a bull’s eye, with the image of a woman and child in the center.

“We are here to say we’d like to go back to the good old days when women and children first meant first in the lifeboats instead of first thrown overboard," said Hancock.

The women are protesting proposed cuts to child care, domestic violence shelters, and breast cancer screenings. But HD Palmer with the state’s finance department says the cuts included in Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget are equal opportunity reductions.

“The governor is not targeting any particular group whatsoever," said Palmer. "The fact that we are continuing to work our way out of the worst recession since the great depression has meant that any number of difficult cuts has had to be put on the table.”

The female lawmakers also asked the governor to stay and work on the budget instead of leaving for a trade mission to Asia. The budget is now 10 weeks late.

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