SACRAMENTO, CA - Thousands of California working families have been granted an extended reprieve from choosing between their jobs and their children's wellbeing with a court settlement extending CalWORKs Stage 3 child care funding through the end of this year.
After the Legislature passed the 2010-11 budget in early October, the Governor line-item vetoed $256 million in funding for the program, jeopardizing child care for some 81,000 children of parents who had succeeded in getting off welfare and into the workforce. The veto eliminated the subsidized care, promising to increase unemployment as many of the 60,000 affected parents would be forced to quit their jobs to care for their kids.
The program elimination was stayed until late November after advocates for Stage 3 recipients sued the state. Then on November 17, less than a week prior to the scheduled hearing, Alameda County Court Judge Wynne Carvill signed-off on a settlement to continue the funding through December 31, 2010. The agreement also requires local agencies who administer the state program to work with families to find alternative care.
State Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Legislative Democrats say restoration of the funding will be a priority as they begin their work with Governor-elect Jerry Brown.