Some Legislators, Health Care Advocates Call for Revisions to Governor’s Budget Proposal
Democratic lawmakers are calling on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to "abandon" some health-related provisions of his fiscal year 2005-2006 state budget proposal in his May revision, the Los Angeles Times reports. State revenue has exceeded estimates by about $2 billion since Schwarzenegger released his budget proposal in January, and some lawmakers and health care advocates say some of those funds should be used to reverse some health-related provisions of the proposal (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 5/12).
Some legislators have called for Schwarzenegger to reconsider proposals that would:
- Eliminate cost-of-living increases for Supplemental Security Income payments for the elderly, blind and disabled and freeze payments at $812 per month for individuals and $1,437 per couple;
- Reduce the state's contribution to wages and health benefits of In-Home Supportive Services workers from $10.10 per hour to $6.75 per hour (California Healthline, 1/11); and
- Impose some limits on health care services for low-income state residents.
According to the Times, some Democratic legislators "expressed enthusiasm" about the revision but said they would not approve the budget unless billions of dollars in cuts to social services and education also were removed, "even if the only way the state could afford those things was with a tax increase."
California's budget deficit for FY 2005-2006 is estimated at $8.6 billion (Los Angeles Times, 5/12). 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.