Trigger pulled, but who gets the bullet?

Governor Brown, with Director of Finance Ana Matosantos, pulled the budget “trigger” yesterday on a series of “Tier 1” and some “Tier 2” cuts, totalling around $1 billion, added to nearly $16 billion made early this year. Here’s the video of Governor Brown.

The trigger cuts include $100 million in services to the developmentally disabled, and $100 million to home care, and $15 million in Medi-Cal provider rates.

Since 2008, $15 billion in cuts have been made to vital health and human services in California, hurting our state’s most vulnerable families, seniors, children, and people with disabilities. The trigger cuts will only add to that damage – further weakening our social safety net at a time when Californians are already struggling.

A recent poll shows the nearly two-thirds of Californians agree that trigger cuts are a bad idea. Let’s be clear about how we arrived at this unfortunate situation of trigger cuts in the first place – this past year Republicans in the Legislature took the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge and blocked revenue solutions rather than working for the betterment of our state. It’s a travesty that they would prioritize politics over the needs of millions of Californians.

Health and human services provide jobs that our state so badly needs and supports families and communities as they weather these tough economic times. Without these services our economic recovery will be hampered and poverty rates will continue to grow.

Now more than ever California needs revenue to rebuild our social safety net and restore vital services – and momentum is building for revenue solutions. A new poll shows that 60% of likely voters support the Governor’s ballot initiative to raise revenue – one of several such initiatives on the table.

As always, Health Access and the HHS Network will stand to support leaders who will champion viable revenue solutions and prevent cuts to critical services. Revenue solutions are the only way to balance our budget, restore our social safety net, and steer California towards economic recovery.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, advocates from the HHS Network and elsewhere, plan to protest Thursday from Sacramento to San Luis Obispo.

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