Over the last two years, we have been dealt nearly $500 million in funding cuts by the State of California to critical local programs that impact the lives of every County resident, including public health, mental health, and social services. Beyond these $500 million cuts, State leaders have also raided our coffers by borrowing an additional $360 million in local property tax revenue. Now, with the release of the State’s Budget Revision last week, Los Angeles County residents are poised to suffer from hundreds of millions of dollars in additional local cuts, potentially pushing community programs to the breaking point and pushing thousands of criminals out of State prisons and into local jails.
The Governor’s 2010-11 May Budget Revision, projects an overall $19.1 deficit, which includes $7.7 billion in the remainder of this current fiscal year and $10.2 billion in fiscal year 2010-11. Closing the deficit relies heavily on $12.5 billion in proposed additional funding cuts to health and social service programs.
Among the proposed cuts to programs that are run by Counties across California are $1.6 billion from CalWORKs, completely eliminating the program. CalWORKs provides cash grants and welfare to work services to over 1 million Californians in low-income families. Locally, 320,940 children in 167,617 families in Los Angeles County would lose over $1 billion in cash grants.
Additionally, $637 million would be cut from In-Home Supportive Services Program funding, and $73.6 million in funding for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, which would eliminate the program.
$654 million in funding will be cut or redirected away from Mental Health programs and funding would be cut Statewide by 60-percent for Counties providing Federally-mandated mental health services. These cuts would result in over $239 million in funding cuts to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
We are also facing $523 million in certain Medi-Cal cost containment measures, plus $1.2 billion in cuts to subsidized child care and other childhood development programs.
The Governor is also proposing to transfer an estimated 15,000 non-violent felons to local jails, for an estimated State General Fund savings of $244 million. Even though the State would see savings from this move, the cost burdens of housing these inmates would fall to local taxpayers. Our Sheriff’s Department is estimating that this proposal alone would cost the County an additional $100 million, and result in severe overcrowding of local jails.
In every case, these cuts will have a tremendous effect on the County of Los Angeles and the people we serve.
Your County leaders are currently investigating the impact these proposed funding cuts will have on County programs and services to residents. We will continue fighting to protect the funding we need continue these critical programs for County residents.