Budget Woes Could ‘Take Toll’ on Elder Services
As the Legislature continues to debate the state budget, the wait could "take its toll on the small agencies that care for the elderly," the Sacramento Bee reports. On Monday, the Assembly approved the $101 billion budget, "now 18 days overdue," and sent it to the Senate for consideration. Even after the budget finally passes, it could take another 60 to 90 days before agencies receive funds, Robert Howe of the Sacramento-based Personalized Home Care and Homemaker Agency said. Deanna Lea, executive director of the Sacramento-based Area 4 Agency on Aging, added, "It's the frail elderly and our service providers who are so grossly affected by this. We've got four more agencies today on our list that are in serious need of money ... right now." The agency will receive $9 million to $10 million in federal and state funds over the next year to pay for aging programs in Sacramento, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. About $1 million per month goes to pay agencies for home-based care, but that money "stopped July 1," the Bee reports. Howe, whose agency receives half its budget from Area 4, said the "last budget stalemate nearly drove his home care program bankrupt" (Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 7/19).
The budget process "was dealt a surprising setback" yesterday as two "key Republicans" who "def[ied] their party" and voted for the budget now say they will not back legislation necessary to implement it, the Los Angeles Times reports. Assembly member Anthony Pescetti (R-Rancho Cordova) opposes measure because it deals with funding for abortions and another measure that would use more than $1 billion earmarked for transportation instead to balance the budget. In addition, Assembly member Dick Dickerson (R-Redding) said he "was not inclined" to vote for any of the legislation that accompanies the budget because "he had problems with the measures," the Times reports. Dickerson added that negotiations are taking place between Democratic and Republican leaders to resolve the Republicans' problems with the legislation (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 7/19).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.