First 5 Funding Not Part Of Mid-Year State Budget Solutions
Early childhood advocates gained a small reprieve last week when legislators approved a series of budget solutions that did not include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed redirection of First 5 funding.
Both the State Senate and Assembly took action by passing a package of bills that provided a $5 billion fix to the current year budget crisis.
The risk to First 5 funding — LAUP is predominantly funded by First 5 LA — during this time remains real, however, as the governor has not announced his intent to sign the budget bills, or if he will push for additional concessions from legislators. If it is not included in the mid-year solutions, the First 5 funding issue will likely be considered again in spring for the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Cox Bill Defeated In Committee
In related news, a special session bill that would have diverted all of First 5 funding to the state General Fund for Healthy Families and Medi-Cal was defeated in a committee hearing last week. SBX8 41 (Cox - Fair Oaks) was rejected by members of the Senate Health Committee on a 5 to 2 vote.
"It was just last May that voters — 2 to 1 — soundly voted not to take this approach," said Health Committee Chair Elaine Alquist (D - Santa Clara), in reference to last year's Proposition 1D. "And I am interested in what my voters have to say."
Senator Cox has introduced an identical bill, SB 1109, in the regular legislative session. The bill will be potentially eligible for a hearing in late March.