CSAC Testifies in Support of In-Home Supportive Services Proposal
March 21, 2019
In the past week, both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services considered the Governor’s proposal to revise the County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Maintenance of Effort (MOE). CSAC and counties were featured on panels at both hearings and shared our gratitude and strong support for the Governor’s proposal. On March 14, CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus testified at the Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 hearing. Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos, who serves as a Co-Chair of the CSAC IHSS Working Group, testified before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 Wednesday.
Creating a more sustainable structure for counties to manage IHSS costs and deliver these services on behalf of the state is one of CSAC’s top 2019 legislative priorities. At the hearings, Knaus and Supervisor Ramos outlined the negative impacts that would occur under the current structure, including severe Realignment shortfalls and reductions in health and mental health services. They highlighted our engagement with the Administration throughout last summer and fall and our appreciation for their collaboration and consideration of county concerns as the Department of Finance developed the Realignment report that serves as the basis for the Governor’s proposal.
The Governor is proposing to lower the County MOE base, reduce the annual inflation factor on the MOE from seven to four percent, and stop the redirection of Realignment growth funding from health and mental health to social services. These changes will result in an increased State General Fund commitment to IHSS of $241.7 million in 2019-20, growing to $547.3 million in 2022-23. This proposal will help avoid the anticipated severe shortfalls and negative community impacts and will allow counties to continue to deliver vital services on behalf of the state. For more information on CSAC’s support for the Governor’s IHSS proposal, see our coalition support letter.
As with nearly all budget items at this time of year, both subcommittees did not vote on the proposal, but are holding the item open to vote at a later date, likely following the Governor’s May Revision. CSAC will continue to partner with the Administration, the Legislature, and counties on the necessary trailer bill language to enact this proposal.