Sacramento, CA (May 17, 2010) – Last week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his May Revision to the 2010-2011 California State budget, proposing a plan that would completely eliminate vital Health and Human Services (HHS) programs including In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Healthy Families, CalWORKS and other key safety net programs that serve vulnerable individuals and families. In addition to these devastating cuts, the Governor made no effort to reform the significant structural deficiencies in the budget, ensuring that California will be entrenched in budget deficits for years to come.
The proposed revisions to the State budget will harm vulnerable communities on multiple fronts. For example, the Governor’s proposal to significantly reduce IHSS services along with the elimination of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) targets the elderly, disabled population. Moreover, the Governor’s proposed cuts make it more difficult for working-class families who have been hit hard by the recent recession to recover and help rebuild California’s economy.
Doua Thor, SEARAC’s Executive Director states, “Vital services to the most vulnerable communities must remain a priority, especially in times of economic crisis, and California needs to do better to ensure that services are not compromised or eliminated. The impact of the Governor’s proposal will be felt for many generations.”
Most troubling about the Governor’s May 2010 Revision is that it does not address the long-term budget deficits that will plague the state of California. As reported by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California will experience budget deficits of $15 to $20 billion each year for the next four years. Thus, the shredding of California’s safety net programs is not enough to balance the budget in the present and does little to prevent budget shortfalls in the future.
SEARAC will continue to track the California budget and provide community members with current and relevant information to help preserve Health and Human Services programs and seek solutions that will limit the adverse impact on low income and vulnerable communities.