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A Sacramento County commission that provides funding for local children’s services suffered severe cuts earlier this month.
The First 5 Sacramento Commission cut $43.7 million from its budget May 2. The cuts were ordered by the state, which is using funding from First 5 programs to pay for Medi-Cal children’s services.
The local First 5 cuts reduced funding for a county program that assists women with breast-feeding and for a program at nine school districts that helps young children transition into school, according to Toni Moore, executive director of the First 5 Sacramento Commission.
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Glennah Trochet said the cuts were painful.
“We are a very resilient society,” Trochet said. “I’m hoping in better times, some of these programs will be restored. Or, as a society, we’ll make sure to give importance to the youngest and most vulnerable in our community.”
Trochet is a First 5 commissioner, but she did not vote on the budget cuts. Trochet’s department includes programs that receive First 5 funding, and it would have been a conflict of interest for her to vote, she said.
More cuts to the commission are still to come. The commission expects the state will require $4.8 million on top of the $43.7 million in cuts, according to a news release.
California Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento commented on the First 5 cuts during a meeting with The Sacramento Press Wednesday. “I’m hopeful we’ll get back to restoring First 5 as we go,” he said.
Budget cuts totaling $43.7 million will be distributed until the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the news release said.
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.