Today, nearly 1,000 ULTCW members and consumers, along with a few hundred home care providers and consumers from SEIU-UHW and United Domestic Workers, descended on the State Capitol to teach legislators a lesson. While Governor Brown has proposed saving $225 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program through cuts that include a 7% reduction in hours of care, we were there to point out the fact that this program both saves lives and saves the state millions of dollars a year.
As our elected officials are working to balance the budget and consider this cut, we came to make sure that they understood the facts. That they understand that cutting home care isn’t an educated option. That they understand how the state’s home care program is part of the budget solution – not the budget problem. And that they understand that home care saves lives and saves money!
‘Courage to Care College’ had all the core classes! We had a History Lesson, a Politics and Government Lesson, and it wouldn’t have been school without a Math Lesson. Highlights included a history of how home care started under the Reagan administration, when it wasn’t a partisan issue, and how the numbers speak for themselves; that home care costs 5 times less on average than nursing homes. Overall, we think it was very informative and we hope that our elected officials were paying attention.
And just to make sure they did, over 300 home care providers and consumers crowded into the halls of the capitol, chanting, singing, and completely blocking hallways and access to the Governor’s office. Eventually, police officers showed up to the scene and arrested 10 of our members until the group dispersed.
Laphonza Butler, our President, was quoted in the LA Times today, saying that the In-Home Supportive Services program has already suffered too many budget cuts.
“Any more cuts to this program would endanger people’s lives,” she said.