Sacramento, CA – A day after the Governor’s May Revision to his 2011-2012 budget proposal was released, the impact of the budget proposals on people with disabilities is becoming more evident. The budget includes revenues needed to stave off billions more in cuts identified by the Legislative Analysts Office as options in case 2009 tax increases were allowed to expire. However, buried in the budget are details of program reductions that – on top of more than $6 billion in health and human services cuts made earlier this year – would further dismantle essential services for people with disabilities who have been constantly targeted for more cuts in each new budget proposal.
• Complete elimination of Adult Day Health Centers that provide essential services for the most vulnerable and at-risk seniors and adults with disabilities, putting recipients of these services at risk of being placed in nursing homes.
• Severe reductions to the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authorities, which improve home care safety and provide training to providers and people disabilities who need these services and supports to live in their homes instead of nursing homes. The 37% funding cut is expected to force many Public Authorities to shut their doors.
• Continued reductions to Developmental Services that provide independent living support and skills to children and adults with disabilities and their families.
• Hasty implementation of forced managed healthcare for seniors and people with disabilities. The lack of adequate preparation and planning for this huge shift of thousands of people puts many vulnerable people at risk.
• Lifting the mandate for counties to be responsible to provide school-based services to children with mental illnesses, reversing an important policy that provided for better quality and more effective mental health services.
• Proposals to eliminate the Department of Mental Health and Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, raising questions over how critical services will administered going forward.
“While this budget avoided billions in cuts that could occur if existing revenues are not maintained, the details of several May Revise proposals create concern for people with disabilities,” said Teresa Favuzzi, Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers. “Taken together, and on top of cuts to critical services made earlier this year --these unacceptable proposals mark a retreat from California’s obligation to promote the most independent living possible for people with disabilities. We urge Gov. Brown and legislators to consider the many revenue options – from oil severance to increased alcohol taxes -- which would obviate the need for these cuts and which experts say can be done without damage to the economy.”