Budget Update Health Care Cuts in the Ongoing Budget Crisis

In February 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a budget for 2009-10 that included $15 billion in spending cuts to health and other vital services, as well as a spending cap plus five other proposals subject to a special election.1 On May 19, 2009, California voters rejected the spending cap and defeated other propositions that would divert funding away from mental health services and health and social services for young children. California now faces a $24 billion General Fund budget deficit and Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a number of extreme changes to address it.2 The proposals include cuts to health and other vital services. Health cuts total over $2.4 billion, many of which have already been rejected by the Legislature as too severe. In addition, there are billions of dollars worth of spending cuts from the significant reduction or elimination of the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program, SSI grants, CalWORKS, and cash and food assistance for legal immigrants.