LA County to lose millions in state funding for services to the elderly, blind, disabled

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Deep cuts in Governor Jerry Brown’s budget would leave California counties on the hook for millions of dollars for programs that benefit low-income disabled people.

The governor's revised budget announced this week would renew some of that funding – but only temporarily.

In Los Angeles County, the Coordinated Care Initiative provides in-home care for 215,000 elderly, blind, or disabled citizens who might otherwise be in a nursing facility.

The governor’s January budget eliminated the 65 percent of the program’s budget that comes from the state. That would have shifted a $626-million-dollar price tag to counties. The May revised budget walked that back, rolling out a four-year plan for counties to absorb greater costs.

L.A. County will spend $50 million more dollars on the program over the next two years. According to Manuel Rivas, the county's assistant chief executive officer, says that is more manageable than the initial plan, but still leaves the county on the hook.

"It’s good that we are getting some relief and help from the state over the first two years, but we believe that starting year three and beyond, we hit a cliff," says Rivas.

Rivas says the county is working on a plan to make up for the lost state funds. It will likely mean cuts to other county services.

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