A few months back, our governor approved a state-funded program that would now be an obligation of counties – In-Home Support Services (IHSS). The State said counties must use realignment funds to pay for this program. Shifting this cost to California’s counties – an increase of $623 million in 2017-18 alone – imperils funding for critical county health, mental health and public safety programs.
Because the 1991 Realignment also funds indigent health and mental health services, as well as public health, the impact of this cost shift would reverberate through other programs in every California county. These funds serve the most vulnerable of our community: pregnant moms, children, those addicted to opiates and those living with mental illness.
The limited amount of dollars that serves these vulnerable populations must now be shifted to serve another growing and vulnerable population. Current programs that serve people living with mental health challenges, pregnant women, and children will be cut.
Community members need to tell state representative to find new funding for these programs. We also need to tell our board of supervisors to use general fund dollars for this new obligation and not cut existing programs.
Manuel Jimenez, Turlock