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Stockton’s Mayor Fears Local Impact of Possible Federal Budget Cuts

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STOCKTON -- Monday at the Joan Richards Learning Village in Stockton was like any other day.

Classrooms were filled with 4- and 5-year-olds learning, laughing and socializing.

The Learning Village has been open for a year now, and its 150 students come from low-income and foster care families.

Essentially, it's a cheaper version of a private preschool if a transitional kindergarten is available.

The school falls under the umbrella of the Family Resource and Referral Center in Stockton as does the Impact Teen Center and other community based programs.

But will these programs still be available in the fashion they are today a year from now?

At a press conference Monday led by Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, city leaders and others expressed their concern over the promise President Donald Trump has made to slash $15 billion from the Health and Human Services Department.

"It's hard to reconcile how that doesn't impact our family and child services," said Executive Director of the Family Resource and Referral Center Kay Ruhstaller.

At the moment, much of the fear is based on the uncertainty of the situation.

While cuts are expected to impact Stockton locally in these regards it's not an absolute guarantee.

For Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, this is about raising awareness and letting the public understand where city officials stand on the matter.

"I thought it was important to start a dialogue in the community so we can think about the resources that we have in case these cuts happen, number one. But number two, how do we also prevent them from happening or at least make enough noise so people know we care?" Tubbs said.