Advocates Sue State Over Cuts to In-Home Supportive Services
On Thursday, eldercare and disability-rights advocates filed a lawsuit attempting to prevent California's In-Home Supportive Services program from dropping participants or cutting services, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Earlier this summer, lawmakers passed a budget revision package that reduced IHSS spending by $82.1 million.
In response to the cuts, IHSS decided to drop some participants from the program and reduce services for others. Officials said they will use "functional index" rankings to determine which participants will lose services (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 10/1).
Advocates claim the IHSS cuts will end services for 40,000 participants and significantly reduce services for 90,000 more.
The state plans to send out notices about the service reductions on Oct. 19. The cuts are scheduled to take effect Nov. 1.
The lawsuit challenges the methods used to determine which IHSS participants would lose services.
It also contends that the cuts would hinder the state's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The plaintiffs are hoping to persuade a federal judge to block the cuts before officials issue notices to affected participants (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 10/1).
H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for the Department of Finance, said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration plans to fight the lawsuit.
Other Legal Battles
The IHSS lawsuit is the latest in a slew of legal action challenging the state's cuts to health and human services programs.
In June, a federal judge blocked state efforts to reduce wages for IHSS workers.Last month, another federal judge issued an injunction blocking state cuts to the adult day health care program (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 10/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.