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Health Services, Education Could Be Cut Under New Budget

PALM DESERT – Governor Schwarzenegger wants to slash the state budget by $5 billion, ending programs that affect the lives of many people living in the Desert when they need it most.

Lisette Zambrano, who is unemployed, relies on a state-funded Healthy Families program that could be axed.

“We don’t have to pay for doctor’s visits and for prescriptions,” Zambrano said about the program. “If it’s taken away, that means I have to pay out of my pocket.”

Cal Grant scholarships may also be slashed. This would affect low-income students at the Cal State-San Bernardino campus in Palm Desert.

Ely Jauregaui, who is studying for an English literature degree, says he’ll have to get another job or dip into his savings to pay for classes.

But the county welfare office actually has more money coming its way thanks to the Federal Stimulus plan. There’s $9 million in welfare checks coming out each month from this place.

Local Planned Parenthood managers say their women’s health programs would lose $36 million in state funding cuts.

“The services that this cut would affect are cervical cancer screening, pregnancy prevention, birth control services and sexually-transmitted infection testing and treatment,” Planned Parenthood directorAmy Esposito says. “We’re a resource for women who do not have health insurance and havelow income.”

KESQ News Team

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