As one of the fastest-growing state programs over the last 10 years, California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) has come under scrutiny lately by the state legislature and faces cuts of $1.2 billion as proposed by Governor Jerry Brown in his 2012-2013 budget.
The cuts would lead to a 2.5% decline in the number of program participants, according to Brown’s budget proposal.
A report released this week by legislative budget analyst Mac Taylor, however, indicates that the state should look to alternatives before cutting into the IHSS program.
“We find that the Governor’s proposal for budget-year savings—the elimination of domestic and related care services for most IHSS recipients who live with other people—raises significant policy and legal concerns,” the report states.
The Legislature has attempted to make changes to the program over the last five years, some of which have been implemented and some which have not, Taylor writes in his analysis.
“In all cases, these reductions have been difficult decisions for the Legislature, and have had significant impacts on recipients, providers, and administrators,” the analysis says.
“…We therefore offer the Legislature two savings alternatives—the extension of the 3.6 percent across-the-board reduction in hours and the reenactment of the reduction in state participation in provider wages—to achieve some General Fund savings in the budget year. We think that our alternatives pose less legal risks and implementation challenges than the Governor’s proposal to achieve budget-year savings.”
Read the full report.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker