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Speaker wants First 5 to fill in child-care cuts

Hoping to stop the working poor from losing a popular child-care program, Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, D-Los Angeles, wants to find stopgap funds that will get the program through the start of the new year.

Perez on Tuesday said he will ask the state and county First 5 commissions - agencies that promote child welfare and are funded by tobacco taxes - to help get the CalWORKs Stage 3 child-care program through November and December. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated funding for the program, which provides cheap child-care for about 4,000 children in San Bernardino and eastern Los Angeles counties.

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