ABC 10 - Sacramento leaders debate program funding cuts amid budget shortfall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento leaders are debating where the city will need to make cuts to close a $66 million budget deficit.

City Manager Howard Chan's $1.6 billion budget avoids city worker layoffs, but it also includes a variety of fee hikes and service cuts to programs.

On Monday, community members weighed in during the public comment session of the city council meeting.

"I see a lot of folks here who really care about the city, and they care about their community," said Judy Hirigoyen, who was one of several commenters who decided to speak out about the city's proposed $87,000 cut to its funding to the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity.

"This particular museum has no alternative in the area, and you just can't go by without seeing buses that have brought children for field trips," she said.

Others came to ask the council to reconsider cutting its $1 million contribution to the SacRT Ryde Free Program to help kids get to and from school using public transit.

"Why would you take that away from people that are part of the disadvantaged populations?" asked Suzanne Ansell, with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment organization.

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