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State organizations feel budget crunch

September 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The state budget crisis has reached its 66th day.Healthcare, education and law enforcement are feeling the financial crunch. So Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is once again demanding that lawmakers come up with a remedy.

While visiting a Southern California hospital, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California) continued to hammer his point: The longer this budget impasse lasts, the more harm lawmakers are causing to Californians who depend on state-funded services.

"All of those different people that are not getting paid now are suffering. I think that is a sad story. And I think we can do much better than that," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Nowhere is the impact felt more than in facilities that are supposed to receive Medi-Cal funding. Medi-Cal is the only way lower-income families can get healthcare. Many facilities are on the verge of closing as loans and lifelines dry up.

"We can't keep our doors open much longer. I've got 50 people a day coming to my facility that I'm about ready to, frankly, bring down to the Capitol steps and park them at the front door, and say: 'Here ... You deal with them,'" Jim MacDonald, an adult daycare provider.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca worries how law enforcement is supposed to fight certain crimes.

"We have a serious methamphetamine problem. There are 350 police departments and 58 sheriff's departments that will have a lesser capacity to deal with just the problems of meth," said Sheriff Baca.

Cal Grant financial aid checks are being withheld for most of the 86,000 needy community college students, who now have to face a tough choice. The funds will likely be held until a state budget passes. So, for some, that means taking fewer classes, doing without some textbooks, or skipping an entire semester.

"It's not fair because a lot of the students, they need the money for their educational expenses. And school isn't cheap, nor free!" said Cal Grant recipient Jaime Ruiz.

No state payments have gone out since July 1. If the state budget isn't in place by the end of the month, the state will owe $12 billion to service providers.

 

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