Senator Proposes Eliminating First Five

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Senator Dave Cox says money that is raised from a tax on cigarettes for First Five commissions around the state would be better spent elsewhere. 

  “We’re simply saying that’s a failed program…”

Cox points to recent audits and news articles about poor contracting practices and questionable spending by the commissions 

 “You wonder how it’s possible that an agency that is getting almost six-hundred muillion dollars a year could fail to be accountable.

Cox wants to eliminate both the state and counties’ First Five programs.  He wants to take the unspent funds--  nearly two-point-five billion—and give it to schools, cities and counties.  Future revenue would go to the Healthy Families and Medi-Cal programs.  A spokesman for Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass says it should be part of upcoming budget negotiations but that the programs seem to be working very well.