Demonstrators Greet Governor at City Hall

September 18, 2008 1:06:05 AM PDT
Demonstrators call the Governor's veto the right action but for the wrong reason. They want the budget to include funding mechanisms which protect students, seniors and those with disabilities.Some held signs at City Hall saying students need real solutions. Demonstrators support the Governor's call for a veto because they say it is not a responsible budget.

Sierra Unified Superintendent Michael Gardner said "All this budget does is kick the problems to next year which starts in January. I just think they took this way out just to get out of town. Gardner says Sierra Unified made cuts in sports, Ag, academic programs, the district website and bus routes to trim 3-million dollars. He said "The compromise is nothing that will adequately fund our schools ... "

Some local healthcare workers lost their jobs because of the budget impasse. Bobbie Coulbourne works with young people with disabilities. Coulbourne said "My biggest fear is individuals going back into institutions. Not being able to live in the communities. Not being supported there."

Classrooms and playgrounds at eight I-5 Daycare Centers in the valley now sit empty. Without state funding over 200 employees had to be laid off.

Executive Director Alex Valdez said "It's very depressing. Not just for the employees but even for ourselves as administrators." 700 kids were affected so parents had to scramble to make other arrangements. Valdez added "There's alot of families that don't have child care providers out there in those areas so they have to stay home and have to either take some vacation or just skip work."

Valdez said he would re-hire his employees once the state budget is approved but they wouldn't receive any back pay.

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