Money for CCCA

By: Michael Hyland Email
By: Michael Hyland Email

Del. Chris Saxman says he thinks he's found the money to keep the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents open.

Saxman and Delegate Steve Landes proposed an amendment to Governor Tim Kaine's 2010 budget in Richmond on Thursday to restore the $6 million in funding the CCCA needs.

The lawmakers want to delay the purchase of new textbooks for one year. Saxman says delaying the purchase of textbooks would save Virginia $79 million.

Employees at the center say it's the first bit of hope they've had since a bleak future was revealed by Gov. Tim Kaine's budget cuts.

Just eight days ago, members of the CCCA community rallied to share their anger and frustration.

Teresa Gibson has worked at CCCA for 28 years and she's devoted much of her career to working with the center's young children.

"I personally would be willing to take a little pay cut, or do what I can do to help the situation," says Gibson.

Like many employees, David Dawson is feeling cautiously optimistic about what will happen to the kids they treat.

"In fact, what Saxman said does give a lot of hope because it sounds like, 'OK, there's going to be more of a planful process here,'" says Dawson.

Dr. Jeff Aaron works with the center's adolescents. He says he recognizes Virginia's budget struggle, but doesn't think the state should be pulling money from CCCA.

"I just don't think this is the right place to get it for the kids or for their families, or their communities," says Aaron.

"We don't come here to meet our needs. We come here to help these kids," says Gibson. "Certainly, somebody said in the meeting a week or so ago, 'We're not here for the money.' And, that's certainly true. We're here because we care about kids, and we really want to help them."

Del. Steve Landes is a co-patron on Saxman's budget amendment.


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