SACRAMENTO -- Making good on a promise to trim the state budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated a $55-million program Friday that advocates say has helped thousands of mentally ill homeless people break the costly cycle of hospitalization, jails and street life.
Among the cuts: $1.3 million to track hospital efforts to eliminate infections, which kill more than 7,000 Californians a year; $30 million for state parks; and $6 million to compel drug manufacturers to discount medicines for lower-income people.
He [state Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)] noted that despite the allegedly strapped conditions of the state, legislators managed to preserve a tax break for some purchasers of yachts, planes and recreational vehicles -- a measure that could cost the state as much as $45 million.
"A $45-million tax break for yacht owners stays in the budget," Steinberg said. "And a nationally recognized, incredibly effective program to end homelessness for those living with mental illness gets thrown under the bus."