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Statement on California’s May Revision of the 2024-25 Budget

Following the Governor’s release of the May Revision of the proposed 2024-25 State Budget, Justice in Aging released the following statement:

We are very disappointed in the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program for undocumented Californians. The IHSS program provides essential support services to ensure that individuals can remain living in the community and avoid costly institutionalization. The expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented Californians included the full range of Medi-Cal services, including IHSS. By eliminating this benefit, the State will be turning its back on its commitment to providing health care for all Californians regardless of immigration status. IHSS is a key health care program, and by revoking access to the program, low-income undocumented Californians will have to forgo care at home or seek long-term services and supports through institutional care, which would ultimately be exponentially more expensive for the State. This elimination also puts significant economic burden on family caregivers, who may now have to leave the workforce to provide that care uncompensated. Family caregivers are often low-income women of color, and this decision flies in the face of California’s stated equity goals and does not align with the goals of the Master Plan for Aging. We urge the Legislature to reject this proposal.

Additionally, we are disappointed in the delay to implement the expansion of the California Food Assistance Program for undocumented older adults. Food insecurity is an ongoing issue in the state, and is a fundamental element of the social determinants of health. All Californians deserve access to food, and low-income undocumented Californians have been unjustly excluded for too long. Further delaying the expansion only exacerbates these harms. We urge the Legislature to reject this proposal.

We’re also concerned about the proposed cuts to Adult Protective Services, which provides important services to vulnerable older adults. We are also troubled by the cuts to Home Safe and the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program, two of the only programs focused on preventing older adult homelessness, which continues to be a growing problem in California.

We recognize that this is a challenging budget environment, and despite these proposed cuts, we appreciate that certain core programs for older adults and people with disabilities were not cut, like in prior fiscal downturns. For instance, we appreciate that there are no proposed cuts to the SSI/SSP programs, which provide critical income support to the lowest income older adults and people with disabilities. We appreciate that the May Revision maintains the decision to eliminate the Medi-Cal asset limit.

We look forward to engaging with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure that all low-income older adults have access to the health care, housing, and income supports that they need to live with dignity in their homes and communities.

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