By CAMILLE GIGLIO
December 20, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On December 18, the California East Bay's Contra Costa Times published a commentary on its editorial page submitted by state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, [D-Contra Costa] and representatives of the Contra Costa Child Care Council [a non-profit lobby for child care] and Contra Costa First Five, [tobacco tax funded lobby for child care] entitled: Child care crisis looming in County. It's clearly an agendized, self-serving piece, pimping for the child care industry, for which all of these players have a major interest.
BACKGROUND: A late night agreement was reached regarding signing of the very late budget. Part of the agreement was to allow the Governor to line-item veto the state portion of funding for both mental health services and CalWORKS stage 3 child care funding.
As a result of this veto of funds, a group called Parent Voices, located in Oakland, California, sued the Governor. Judge Wynn Carvil issued an order mandating that the money be restored. Apparently the Governor has not yet obeyed the order.
Hence, DeSaulnier's plea to the public for help in saving the jobs of county child care councils and First Five's interests.
In the op-ed it is claimed that 1,700 children may [emphasis mine] lose their child care, jeopardizing jobs for 900 working parents and 830 care providers, along with $49 million in economic impact to the county.
Stages 1 and 2 of the CalWORKS Welfare-to-Work federal and state partnership program are still intact. Stage 3 pertains to the funding of agencies who act as spokespersons for the state funded child care industry and funding for after-school programs.
What all this comes down to is that our state is now under a court order to provide child care funding. What Sen. DeSaulnier failed to mention in his article is that he is a co-author of a bill by Senator Ellen Corbett , [D-San Leandro] to re- appropriate $250,000,000.00 of state tax funding which will go to the Department of Education to provide the child care funding and after school care for Stage 3 children, age 6 and older.
There are also three other bills, all submitted on December 12th, after the close of the year's session, on an emergency basis to provide funding and expanded child care opportunities. These are, I believe, referred to as trailer bills. What that means is that the governor and the legislators get brownie points for cutting the state budget and then when no one is looking, basically put it all back into the budget. These bills are: SB 12, Education Finance: CalWORKS Stage 3 Child Care, AB 70 Health and Human Services: Federal Grant Opportunities and AB 1 Education Finance: CalWORKS.
All of this "theater" as Anthony Wright, Director of Health Care Access, calls it, is designed to test the strength of the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act - ACA - and insure, using a judge's court order, that California will not be able to reject the federal funding and mandates.
Below is an excerpt taken from the Health Care Access website - www.health-access.org from a press release by the HAC, the most aggressive lobbyist for the latest Child Care bills,
"State Cooperation: Gubernatorial elections that resulted in victories by opponents of the federal health law do pose a threat to the ACA. States have considerable leeway to implement the ACA; in the name of ideology, they could even refuse federal dollars meant to provide health care to their residents and to benefit their doctors, nurses, hospitals, and clinics.
California has not had this problem. Voters re-elected every congressional representative who voted for the ACA, as well as a new governor and attorney general who have pledged to fight for it. California has moved forward aggressively, passing some of the first bills in the nation to implement and improve upon the federal law.
The bottom line is this: California's families should disregard most of the political theater in Washington D.C. and see how health care reform benefits them. With a disproportionate share of uninsured Americans, and a health care system at a breaking point, California needs all the help it can get. California voters should take advantage of the new benefits and options under ACA - and continue to press our elected leaders to seize the opportunities available for our state. This was originally written for New America Media by Linda Leu and Anthony Wright of Health Access California."
The legislator ends his commentary with this pious admonition, "Employers and workers" [note: he doesn't say parents] "need a reliable system of child care, it is critical for job growth and economic recovery" [maybe for the child care industry] "...that demands immediate and permanent funding for child care."
It appears then that Mr. DeSaulnier and his Democrat cronies want a state/federal permanent monopoly on caring for your children, using federal mandates to control health/mental health counseling and employment development/school-to-work training. Of course they want it all delivered through the Department of Education.
© 2010 Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.