The “ugly”

This is *really* bad.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the budget today, but not before making $650 million in additional “blue pencil” reductions. Over $516 million were in specific line-item veto cuts, with over $400 million of those to health and human services. The added cuts are jaw-dropping.

* An additional $50 million cut to Healthy Families, raising the total shortfall for the program to $194 million, well over half the program’s state funding. As a result, Healthy Families will likely deny coverage for over 900,000 children, including actively disenrolling hundreds of thousands of kids, yanking their coverage away. This one budget would double the number of uninsured children in the state of California, undoing a decade of progress.

* Additional cuts totalling $52 million to programs under the Office of AIDS Prevention and Treatment, including education and prevention, therapeutic monitoring, counseling and testing, early intervention, home and community-based care, and housing.

* An additional $25 million cut that would fully eliminate state funding for community clinics, including Expanded Access to Primary Care. This is especially devastating when the number of uninsured are increasing, partially due to other cuts.

* An additional $12 million in cuts to Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health local assistance programs, including the Adolescent Family Life Program and the Black Infant Health program.

* An additional $60 million in Medi-Cal county administration, making it harder for California children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities to get on and stay on Medi-Cal coverage.

Other human services cuts include:
* An additional $80 million cut to funding for the Child Welfare Services Program, which responds to reports of abuse and neglect.
* An additional $50 million cut to funding for Regional Center services for children up to age 5 who have developmental disabilities.
* An additional $40 million in cuts to In-Home Support Services (IHSS) home care, further reducing eligibility.
* An additional $16 million in cuts to domestic violence programs, largely battered women’s shelters.

There is a question of how legal these cuts are, given that this isn’t a budget, but several bills to adjust the budget. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg released a statement saying this “isn’t the last word.”

More words to come after I stop shouting…

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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