As certain as the grey, cloudy days of June are coming to us in Los Angeles, so too are the additional cuts proposed by Gov. Brown yesterday as part of the “May Revise” budget, which takes place annually one month after tax day. This time, the gap is $16 billion, a huge, abstract number that is very hard to wrap my brain around. But I have less difficulty in looking at the proposed major cuts which impact children, teens and adults with disabilities, and seeing a one-two-three combined punch:
1) Direct cuts to the Dept. of Developmental services which funds the 21 Regional Centers across the state = $50 million
2) Cuts to Medi-Cal providers, including hospitals and nursing homes, with many of those patients diagnosed with developmental disabilities=$1.2 billion
3) Reducing in-home service hours to the frail elderly and disabled by 7% across the board = $225 million
Taken together, these cuts are body blows to those with the greatest need—people who are poor and have severe disabilities, who often have multiple medical/disability conditions. Their families, and especially those family members who provide care 24/7 will bear the greatest burden, as they have fewer resources and more stress, which can create medical problems for the caregivers.
In this great golden state, why aren’t there more creative solutions to our budget woes than shoving the problems “downstream” to those who are the most vulnerable??? It just sucks.