LAO Notes Possible Challenges for Gov. Brown's Proposed IHSS Cuts

Proposed cuts for California's In-Home Supportive Services program included in Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) fiscal year 2012-2013 budget proposal would be difficult to implement and likely would face legal challenges, according to a report from the Legislative Analyst's Office, HealthyCal reports.

IHSS provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities (HealthyCal, 3/19).

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor told the Legislature on Monday that Brown's proposed IHSS cuts raise "significant policy and legal concerns" (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/19).

Background

Brown's $92.6 billion budget plan calls for cutting $163.8 million from IHSS by eliminating domestic assistance for beneficiaries in shared living environments (California Healthline, 2/28).

According to Brown, the IHSS cuts would reduce spending by 5% to $5.3 billion. Under the plan, the number of IHSS beneficiaries would decrease by 2.5% to an average of 422,993 individuals.

LAO Alternatives

Taylor told lawmakers that LAO is offering two alternative proposals for reducing IHSS costs:

  • Extending a 3.6% across-the-board reduction in hours; and
  • Reducing the amount the state pays in wages to IHSS caregivers.
Taylor said, "We think that our alternatives pose less legal risks and implementation challenges than the governor's proposal to achieve budget-year savings" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/19).

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