Saturday, May 16, 2009

More bad news from the county because of budget gap

While specifics are lacking, news from a pubic Sacramento County budget workshop, Thursday, tells us funding for programs relating to the poor are going to get cut, deeply. Very deeply.

"What we're really talking about, in essence, is an unraveling of the county's safety net," said Department of Human Assistance [DHA] Director Bruce Wagstaff, quoted in a May 15 Sacramento Bee article.

The article tells us social service officials say the proposed cuts will mean "more unchecked abuse, more untreated disease and more mentally ill people in the jail."

As background, the meta-problem is this, quoting the article,
County officials are working to close a projected $180 million general fund shortfall in the fiscal year that starts July 1. That's about 8.5 percent of the current year's $2.2 billion general fund budget, but department heads say the practical effect is greater because every year brings increased costs and caseloads.
With respect to the DHA and the Behavioral Health Services Department, which most serve as safety nets for homeless people's needs, the article tells us, "[DHA] is looking at 54 layoffs and eliminating some programs for the homeless. The Behavioral Health Services Department would cut $17 million in adult mental health services."

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