Contra Costa County Supervisors Discuss Contributions to Workers’ Compensation Funds
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed the possibility of cutting several staff positions, including some related to health care, and reducing a recommended increase in payments to the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund by almost $6 million to address a $50 million county budget deficit, the Contra Costa Times reports.
John Sweeten, the county's top administrator, previously had identified about $33 million in revenue and other funding sources and suggested $17.5 million in program reductions to address the deficit. However, supervisors rejected nearly $10 million of the recommended cuts, mostly from health care programs and the sheriff's department.
Even if the supervisors vote to reduce the recommended increases to the Workers' Comp Trust Fund, the county "will easily meet disability claims payments for injured workers next year," the Times reports. The county has about $60 million available for an estimated $22 million in payouts.
However, Sweeten said the workers' compensation program in January had less than a 30% chance of meeting long-term obligations.
The supervisors will vote on a proposed $1.21 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2006 on June 28 (Russell, Contra Costa Times, 6/22).
In other county budget news, the Stanislaus Family Practice Residency Program "has recently come under the threat of budget cuts" as Stanislaus County leaders consider strategies to address an $8.8 million budget gap for the county Health Services Agency, the Modesto Bee reports.
The program costs the county $700,000 annually, but advocates of the program say it provides doctors to care for some of the "poorest and most troubled patients in the county," according to the Bee.
In addition, program supporters say some of the doctors who graduate from the program stay in the area, the Bee reports (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 6/21).