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An Alameda Superior Court judge has delayed $256 million in budget cuts to a state program that provides child care assistance to low-income families.

The funding cut for CalWORKs Stage 3 Child Care was part of the nearly $1 billion in line-item veto cuts Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made to the budget passed earlier this month.

Cuts to the program, which provides child care subsidies to parents who have secured employment after going through California's welfare-to-work program, were scheduled to take effect Monday.

Parent Voices Oakland and four parents who were expecting to lose child care filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education seeking to temporarily delay the implementation of the cuts, arguing that they could jeopardize the jobs of working parents of 56,000 children across the state who could lose child care as a result of the funding cuts.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill issued an order today halting the cuts until a Thursday hearing on the merits of the lawsuit.

Democratic lawmakers say they will seek to restore the cuts when the Legislature reconvenes. Several local First 5 Commissions have pledged to provide temporary funding for the program. Assembly Speaker John A. Perez has also said he will divert $6 million from the Assembly budget to keep the subsidies afloat.

Click here to read the judge's order issued today.

This post was updated to clarify that the lawsuit targets the Department of Education's implementation of the cuts, not Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's authority to make the cuts.


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