Valley Reaction to Budget Deal

September 19, 2008 9:22:24 PM PDT
The budget impasse has impacted many people here in the valley ? And despite Friday's news from Sacramento... It may still be a while before things get back to normal.It's been three weeks since employees at the Sunnyside Convalescent Home in Fresno received their full paychecks...

Lupe Soto, Nurse: "It's just been real hard on everybody because we all have bills to pay ? We all have rent to pay."

Nurse Lupe Soto is frustrated and despite hearing that a budget deal had been reached-- she's lost confidence in legislators.

"Because we have just been hearing that maybe tomorrow maybe the next day-- and it hasn't happened yet."

Administrator Michael Fellen shares her skepticism. He says the situation has never been worse.

Michael Fellen, Sunnyside Convalescent: "I was to the point where if it wasn't passed, we probably would have considered starting to move residents out and closing the facility."

If the governor signs the budget within the next couple of days ? Fellen hopes to be able to pay employees in full by next week ? And vendors soon there after.

Eight valley daycare facilities forced to shut down three weeks ago-- are also hoping for an immediate release of funding.

Javier Guzman, I-5 Social Services: "The legislators are messing up really bad-- they are sending bad signals, bad messages and at the same time hurting the kids."

Javier Guzman with I-5 Social Services says state superintendent of schools Jack O'Conell made a promise to daycare providers.

Javier Guzman: "He said, quote "I will make sure that these payments are made immediately"... So we are hoping that he honors his word and that these payments are made immediately and that we aren't thrown to the bottom of the stack."

Guzman says as soon as the budget is signed by the governor, a bulletin will be sent out to the 700 families affected by the daycares' closure. He hopes the 200 employees who lost their jobs, are still available.

Javier Guzman: "It is going to be a difficult task getting this process completed again and having the centers ramped up and in full capacity as they were before they were layed off."

Guzman says the California Latino Child Development Association also plans to be knocking on the doors of local lawmakers.

They want them to introduce legislation so that daycares never find themselves in this predicament again.

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