State budget cuts hit hard in the valley

FRESNO, Calif.

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The plan led to a plea for help from the people who could lose their livelihoods.

"Let's put the oil severance tax back on the table," they screamed from outside the state building in downtown Fresno.

They're asking the governor to search for new revenue sources, instead of cutting social services.

Brown has already put some tax increases on the table, but the activists want more taxes -- mainly targeting highly profitable corporations.

"What we're talking about is taxes for the folks who are not paying their fair share to live in this society in this state," said Richard Yanes, the executive director of Fresno Metro Ministries.

The cuts affect nearly every form of public assistance including child care help for mothers returning to work from welfare.

It also affects Fresno City College where more than 20,000 students could see their tuition go up by $10 per unit – an increase of almost 40%.

"It really affects the people who rely on community colleges to get their education," said FCC student Christina Chann. "They didn't make it to state (universities) or it's too expensive."

The cuts include $400 million from state community colleges, $500 million from state universities, and another $500 million from University of California campuses.

Even bigger cuts would hit Medi-Cal and CalWORKS, the welfare to work program.

Ana Jones is one of its recipients, getting a child care stipend for her two kids when she goes to work.

"They need child care so they can have parents that continue to support them, pay the bills," Jonjes said. "If I have no child care, I have no job."

Jones says she loses her funding next month and with the new cuts, she's not likely to ever get them back. She says her next step may be to re-apply for welfare.

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