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Another Round Of Budget Cuts For Desert Arc?

PALM DESERT – Desert Arc is looking to overcome what may be another round of state budget cuts.

“We’ve already dealt with $350,000 in cuts by layoffs. We’ve cut back employee hours. We’ve furloughed salaried people one day a month and we’ve cut our medical reimbursement,” says director Richard Balocco.

In February, the state approved $100 millionin cuts that have yet to be implemented. And now, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed another $234 millionin cuts to the Department of Developmental Services, where Desert Arc gets its funding.

“If it does approve what was recommended, there will be at least four more closed days that we will not be paid for during the holiday season, and there may be some other minor cost impacts to some of our programs,” says Balocco.

One of those programs, transportation to and from the facility in Palm Desert, provided for clients that need it.They say it’s just too much.

“They’re mandating us to do something they’re not paying for, and, in the end, if the cuts are so big, I don’t know that we can to withstand them,” says Balocco.

Desert Arc is expanding their silk screen and embroidery divisions to places like schools and hospitals to help offset any costs associated with the state budget cuts.

“We’re going to have a series of new fundraising things that we’ll have to be into, as will everybody else who is probably in our business,” Balocco says.

Desert Arc recently delayed a raffle for a $1 millionLa Quinta home set for April 18th because they have not yet sold out all the tickets. The grand prize is now set for July 1.

KESQ News Team

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