Oakland, CA –Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan has sent a formal letter to California Governor Jerry Brown requesting that he rescind and remove cuts to In-home Support Services (IHSS) in the 2013-2014 California state budget. The Governor will unveil his budget proposal in early January. Cuts to IHSS have been proposed and passed in previous budget years, but remain blocked by on-going litigation.
“These cuts hurt families, our community and our economy...and they make no sense. It’s clear that the Governor misinterpreted his power in making a broad-based cut to IHSS, rather than individual assessments for those who need these services,” said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.
“These cuts endanger the lives of 18,000 Alameda County residents and put at risk the jobs of 18,000 home care workers. These cuts also provide limited savings to the state. With the Governor’s budget set to be unveiled in a few weeks, I’m requesting he look elsewhere for savings,” added Chan.
The text of the letter sent to the Governor is as follows:
Dear Governor Brown:
As you finalize your 2013-2014 budget proposal that you will present in January, I am writing to urge you to rescind the 20 percent reduction in hours provided to participants through In Home Support Services (IHSS), which was included to reduce the cost of IHSS to the General Fund by $100 million. IHSS services ensure that our most vulnerable citizens can remain in their homes with the assistance of an IHSS worker and these services should be preserved. You included these cuts in your 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 State budget proposals but they have been stayed through litigation.
As of November, there were 18,557 IHSS recipients in Alameda County, many of whom may be harmed by this proposed cut. Nearly one third of all IHSS recipients in Alameda County are in my district. The IHSS recipients are served by slightly more than 18,000 IHSS providers in Alameda County whose wages bring in approximately $244 million to the local economy. A 20 percent reduction would translate into a loss of $48 million annually.
I encourage you to reexamine the projected “savings” from the IHSS cuts and determine, as I have, that this cut does not seem worth the potential economic harm to counties across California.
As you are aware, these cuts were blocked by a federal court injunction on March 2, 2012 in the case David Oster et al v. Lightbourne. The injunction was granted because Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to suffer irreparable harm should the reduction take effect. Judge Wilken went on to say that the reduction in services could not be done indiscriminately. In order to reduce hours to the IHSS recipients, individuals must be individually reassessed to determine the necessary hours of assistance prior to any cuts taking place.
Again, I urge you to rescind these cuts to IHSS by not including them in your 2013-2014 budget. I look forward to your response.
Alameda County Supervisor, Third District