On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken issued a temporary restraining order to stop the state from sending out notices of possible cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services program, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Disability Rights California and other groups.
IHSS provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/2).
IHSS faces up to $100 million in cuts as part of automatic spending reductions that would take place Jan. 1 if the state estimates that it will not reach revenue goals this fiscal year (AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel, 12/2).
Advocates have said the cuts could force IHSS workers to reduce their hours by 20% (California Healthline, 11/11).
Details of the Decision
Wilken's order does not stop the cuts, but it prevents the state from sending out notices to about 370,000 people who would be affected by the cuts.
According to Wilken, the plaintiffs expressed serious concerns that the cuts would place the elderly and individuals with disabilities "at imminent and serious risk of harm to their health and safety, as well as unnecessary and unwanted out-of-home placement, including institutionalization" (Sacramento Business Journal, 12/2).
H.D. Palmer, a spokesperson for the state Department of Finance, said state officials are evaluating the judge's order (AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel, 12/2).
Wilken scheduled a court hearing for Dec. 15 to further discuss the issue (Sacramento Business Journal, 12/2).
For additional coverage of the temporary restraining order, see today's Capitol Desk post.