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California Women Pummeled By Economy And State Budget Cuts

Aired 2/1/12 on KPBS News.

A new report finds California women and children got financially pummeled in recent years, first by the economy, then by state budget cuts.

— The California Budget Project says single moms were hit particularly hard by the recent rough economic times. The study found the state's budget problems led to deep state funding cuts in CalWorks, Healthy Families, child care and higher education.

California Women Pummeled By Economy And State Budget Cuts
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That came after the labor market hemorrhaged jobs during the economic downturn. The report said state lawmakers need to see that they are making things worse by gutting social service programs.

"We have seen some very, very deep cuts," said Jean Ross, director of the California Budget Project. "I think the legislature needs to look at the impact on child care support programs."

The state cut $3.3 billion from the CalWorks program at the same time that the economy was increasing demand for social services. The report found state lawmakers made things worse by trimming social service programs, like CalWorks.

"The cumulative impact of these cuts amounts to $3.3 billion and that's equivalent to the loss of about $3,000 for each of the 1.1 million children in the CalWorks program," said Judy Patrick of the Women's Foundation of California.

Lawmakers also cut preschool funding by $1.5 billion, according to Patrick, and they cut the very programs that help break the cycle of poverty.

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