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More than $40 million in bridge funding has been secured to keep child care assistance for low-income families flowing through the new year, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced this morning.

The funding includes $6 million in funds Pérez ordered cut from the Assembly operating budget. First 5 Commissions in 31 counties have authorized a combined $34 million in tobacco-tax revenues for CalWorks Stage 3 Child Care, which provides child care assistance to former CalWORKS recipients who are gainfully employed.

First 5 Commissions in eight additional counties are scheduled to consider appropriating funds in upcoming meetings.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto pen to cut roughly $256 million from the program when he signed last month's budget.

Democratic lawmakers have pledged to restore the funding when the Legislature reconvenes. Pérez said the funding bridge should help keep the funding afloat through the end of January.

The cuts, which were estimated to impact more than 60,000 families, were scheduled to take effect Nov. 1. A judge has delayed the cuts until at least today, when he will issue a decision on a lawsuit seeking to stay the implementation by the state Department of Education.


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