LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Disabled rights activists are concerned the changes Gov. Jerry Brown plans to make to California’s budget Tuesday will include huge cuts to resources for in-home caregivers.
Brown will announce his revised budget plan at noon at the Reagan State Building.
It’s rumored it will include a cap on payments to in-home caregivers that could wreak havoc for some families.
CBS2/KCAL9 political reporter Dave Bryan spoke with SoCal resident Sharon Brady, who’s spent 17 years working as her daughter Lauren’s caregiver. Lauren was born with Rett Syndrome, a debilitating disease that denied her the ability to walk or talk. Through the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, Brady is paid less than $10 an hour to tend to her daughter.
“Me having random people come in to take care of Lauren to fill those hours, that just doesn’t work for us. It doesn’t work for families like mine,” Brady said.
Brady says she’s anxiously awaiting Brown’s revised budget for the coming fiscal year because it’s rumored to include a 40-hour weekly cap. She says no longer getting paid for overtime would force her to either get outside work and put her daughter in an institution or staying home with her daughter and endure the financial consequences. She says she can’t imagine putting her daughter in an institution.
“For some families, placing their children would be what they’d have to pick. That’s not something I could ever do. So, I’d have to figure out something, but, to be honest with you, I have no idea what that would be,” Brady said through tears.
IHSS Consumers Union co-founder Nancy Becker Kennedy says there is a lot riding on Brown’s plans.
“What the governor has proposed earlier is catastrophic. It will cause misery across the state, it will institutionalize people at many times the cost to the taxpayers, it will break up homes and it will make family members homeless,” Kennedy said. “They must, must, must pay the overtime, or we’ll see public policy of a catastrophic nature that’s going to ruin lives.”
Activists say this new plan for capping payments for in-home care is scheduled to go into effect January 2015. They want to put it on hold in a compromise so this plan could be put into effect January 2016 so they’d have time to iron out the proposal’s reported problems.