Yesterday, the State Legislature passed the Democrats’ alternative budget proposal through a majority vote after Democratic legislators rightfully walked away from a dreadful deal that included a spending cap that would have forced ongoing cuts to health and human services for years to come. This alternative budget deal seeks to balance the state’s remaining $9.6 billion through a mix of cuts, increased fees, delayed payments and other short-term spending maneuvers.
And while we’re deeply disappointed that Republican obstructionism prevented the passing of the Governor’s very modest proposal to extend existing revenue streams, and we’re still mourning the very serious losses inflicted by the $7 billion of cuts signed by the Governor in March, we’re relieved that health and human services was not the main target for another round of cuts in this second package of bills. We have added up all the cuts to HHS since 2008 and it comes to more than $15 billion.
However, efforts to restore some of the cuts enacted in March, including child care, CalWorks and Adult Day Health Care, remain alive, thanks to the continued voice of dedicated supporters (like you) inside and outside the Capitol!
We’ve also prevented the imposition of a disastrous spending cap, which would have locked-in inadequate funding for health care and human services and severely obstructed our ability to meet the needs of our aging and growing population!
Governor Brown is scheduled to hold a press-conference later today in Los Angeles (at 12:15 pm), after which we should know more.
Looking back over the first half of 2011 – together, we put up a tremendous fight to protect California’s seniors, families, people with disabilities, and kids from even more devastating and life-threatening cuts. Together, we made a strong and unified case for real budget solutions that put California’s family and economic recovery first. And we succeeded in helping to facilitate a broader public discussion that focused on revenue solutions as part of our state budget.
But our work is far from finished! Now that a budget has passed the legislature, we must continue to fight to make sure Governor Brown or the legislature don’t seek any more cuts!
And without an ongoing source of revenues, this budget crisis will persist. We need to continue to spotlight and to explain the impacts of the cuts already made to health and human services—cuts to families, to our safety-net, to our health system, to our economy. We need to pursue the revenues and reform to balance our budget and prevent to ongoing threat to the services and programs that we see make a difference in people’s lives.
Be sure to stay tuned for more updates, action alerts, and other important information as we continue to fight on behalf of California’s future!