SPEAK OUT AGAINST STATE BUDGET CUTS
AFFECTING THE DISABLED, SENIORS & OTHERS
Friday, June 4th
A rally and march to speak out regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed state budget cuts to programs/services, will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 4 in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka.
Organized by Tri-County Independent Living (TCIL), the focus of the event will be on cuts to Medi-Cal, In-Home Support Services (IHSS), mental health services, Medi-Cal, SSI recipients, Calworks, and Regional Centers as well as education and other programs that directly affect people with disabilities, seniors, children and infants, students, and other California residents. Another focus will be on legitimacy of the Governor’s anti-fraud measures aimed at IHSS care providers and recipients.
“People with disabilities, including seniors, veterans, students and others, have already been affected by extensive budget cuts that were passed last year, points out Chris Jones, Executive Director for TCIL. “Now the Governor is targeting these citizens once again, which will put a further strain on local resources and cost us all more in tax dollars, reduced safety, independence and quality of life for thousands, and in lost lives.”
“The Governor and certain legislators continue to ignore the ramifications of these cuts and refuse to even consider alternative revenue options for helping to balance the budget,” says Cindy Calderon, Systems Change Advocate at TCIL. “They also continue to demonize IHSS providers and recipients through anti-fraud measures that were enacted without input by program participants, were based on unsubstantiated claims by the Governor of “massive fraud” in the IHSS program, and which impose an unwieldy process on IHSS care providers, while greatly compromising the privacy of often vulnerable IHSS recipients.”
This rally is also being held in June to help mark the 11th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision, which affirmed the rights of people with disabilities, seniors and others to live in their own homes instead of institutions.
“Once again the Governor has shown a complete disregard for the spirit of the Olmstead Decision,” adds Calderon. “Further state cuts are a clear indication of the lack of commitment by the State of California to this Supreme Court ruling because they greatly reduce the ability of people with disabilities, seniors and others to live independently at home. This makes no sense, because the cost of keeping a person in their own home using an IHSS care provider is far less than having that person in an institutionalized setting. Cuts to the IHSS program, Medi-Cal, SSI recipients, mental health services and other programs will continue to force many people out of their own homes, into the streets, into hospital emergency rooms, and into nursing homes where there may not even be enough beds to accommodate them,” Calderon further pointed out. “In fact, if the Governor has his way with cutting about half of the IHSS program, then tens of thousands of more Californians will end up losing jobs! ”
The June 4 rally and march will include short speeches from several area social service program recipients as well as care providers, and representatives from the local offices of Assemblyman Wes Chesbro and Senator Pat Wiggins. Chesbro has been invited to speak and may be able to attend if he’s not required to be in Sacramento on that day. There will also be an opportunity to sign letters to local elected officials, including a thanks to District Assembly Member Wes Chesbro, for his ongoing support for the IHSS program, and petitions regarding the budget cuts.
The local chapter of the renowned “Raging Grannies,” as well as a contingent of the marching, performing brass band known as “Bandemonium,” will be on-hand to provide some entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to bring signs and be ready to chant, and to march about two blocks.
For further information about the march/rally, contact Cindy Calderon or Glenn Reed at Tri-County Independent Living, (707) 445-8404 or TTY: (707) 445-8405.