WatchSonoma Watch
Local schools, social service agencies study budget choices

Gov. Jerry Brown’s hastily released state budget proposal would slash local health and human services programs while tying the fate of school funding to a proposed tax measure he wants on the November ballot. Whether the measure makes it to the ballot, and whether voters will approve it remains uncertain, leaving Sonoma County school districts again facing the prospect of building two budgets.

The human cost of cuts

Democrats who control the Legislature are still trying to figure out if budget cuts proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown make sense. Critics say one proposal to eliminate a Medi-Cal health care program for seniors could actually increase the state’s costs. But administration officials say there are no easy solutions to the state’s $25.4 billion projected budget deficit. It has prompted Brown to seek deep cuts in programs that have long been protected by fellow Democrats.

Brown targets health, welfare programs for cuts

Welfare recipients would see smaller monthly checks and low-income residents would pay more for medical care, local officials said Monday in evaluating Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to plug a $25.4 billion state deficit. Two of the biggest spending cuts in the governor’s plan hit Medi-Cal, the public health insurance program, and CalWORKS, the cash aid program for needy families.

Critics: budget would hurt many in Sonoma County

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his revised plan to close the state’s $19 billion deficit. County health services Director Rita Scardaci says the cuts will fall “on the shoulders of the county’s most vulnerable residents — individuals struggling with addiction and mental illness, low-income adults, seniors, families and children.” A closer look at the impact in Sonoma County.