Gov. Jerry Brown. State photo
Gov. Jerry Brown. State photo

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs said Monday that a budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown regarding in-home care for low-income seniors and the disabled would jeopardize public safety in Los Angeles and other counties in the state.

“A budget proposal by Governor Brown that would severely impact public safety in Los Angeles County is currently being considered in the state legislature,” an ALADS statement said.

“If adopted, this cost-shifting proposal will cause Los Angeles County to experience `financial hardship and cash flow problems’ — and that’s the Governor’s description of what will happen, not ours,” ALADS said.

At issue is the non-federally funded cost to California for a program that provides in-home care for low-income seniors and the disabled — the Coordinated Care Initiative.

“Governor Brown wants counties to pick up 35 percent of the program cost for California,” ALADS said. “Los Angeles County’s share will be more than $200 million in the first year. By 2021, the projected costs of the Governor’s proposal will cost Los Angeles County $500 million a year.”

ALADS said the county has issued a directive to the sheriff’s department “to hold the line on spending and to prepare for potential budget curtailments effective July 1, 2017.”

“It is irresponsible for the state to suddenly shift such a massive cost for a program to the counties of California that it acknowledges will cause extreme financial hardship,” ALADS said. “We urge the state legislature to work with the counties to craft a more sensible solution.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, when the Coordinated Care Initiative was envisioned and partially implemented, the poor, disabled and aged — or all three — in seven large counties would receive coordinated medical, institutional and/or in-home care via different federal, state and local programs, including Medi-Cal and Medicare.

CCI was to be a one-stop-shop approach that would, it was believed, make life easier for recipients while saving taxpayers’ money. And if it worked out, it would be extended statewide, the newspaper reported.

However, the implementing legislation contained an escape clause allowing the governor to cancel CCI if it proved not to save money for the state. And Brown’s proposed 2017-18 budget does just that, while urging that some aspects remain in effect.

ALADS is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County.

—City News Service

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