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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Letter to the Editor: First 5 Children’s and Families Commission

First 5 Children’s and Families Commissions may go away! If this happens, thousands of young Yolo County children and their families will lose critical and basic services. Services that help provide food, early education, health insurance for kids and also prevent child abuse.

Many are aware that the governor signed AB 99, which will now sweep $950 million from county commissions to help solve the state budget deficit. But did you know a larger threat to Yolo County’s youngest children has appeared in the form of SB 486, authored by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton? This will shut down all the First 5 Commissions in California and hijack the money for the state’s general fund.

What would this mean for the children between zero and five years of age in Yolo County? The Children’s Alliance uses Proposition 10 funds to run the weekly food distribution to 150 needy families; pay for the Children’s Health Initiative enrollment and outreach program; recruit new foster parents; provide for in-home visiting for at-risk pregnant and new moms through the Step by Step program; support universal preschool and many other local programs that have provided critical support for our youngest children and their families.

These are just a few of the programs supported by First 5 Yolo. There are many more.

SB 486 is being discussed in the California State Legislature right now. I urge everyone who wants to keep local control of the Proposition 10 dollars to immediately write or fax a letter to Senator Ed Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee, and let him know your concerns. Please copy Yolo County’s representative, Senator Lois Wolk, a member of the Senate Health Committee, and send both letters to the California State Capitol, Room 2191, Sacramento, CA 95814. The fax number for Senator Hernandez is (916) 445-0485.

Remind our elected officials that we, the voters, have approved Proposition 10 TWICE – once in 1998, and again in 2000 when more than 70 percent of California voters rejected efforts to repeal Prop 10. The Legislature shouldn’t take away what the people of California strongly support!

Katie Villegas,

Executive director

Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Child Abuse Prevention Council


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