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Webinar: A Cuts-Only Budget
If you missed the JRLC All-Member webinar last night, never fear! We have all the information you need right here.
This week both the House and the Senate Committees unveiled their proposed budgets for Health and Human Services. Last night's webinar covered the details of the cuts and changes outlined in both bills, painting a drastic picture for the futures of Minnesota's social services.
Below you can scroll through the webinar slides, read the notes associated with each slide, or watch a recording of the webinar HERE. To take action, CLICK HERE to go to JRLC's Action Alert on the Health and Human Services budget.
SLIDE 2: BACKGROUND
Legislative committees have shown us the size and scale of service reductions needed to balance the budget if we do not use new revenues as part of the budget solution. In the Health and Human Services area, the proposed service cuts land heavily on people living in poverty and on people with disabilities or health care needs. The level of service reductions and funding reductions will have multiple impacts on the very people least able to fend for themselves. The cumulative effect would be devastating for thousands of our neighbors, especially in the areas of childcare, safety net programs, and health care.
SLIDE 3: CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION
- Child care providers could see $17 million (House) to $20 million (Senate) taken out of their funding stream at a time when many providers are ready to close. Families will find it harder and harder to secure consistent, high-quality care.
- The Senate would cut $22 million out of the Children's and Community Services grant to counties which funds family intervention services and prevention strategies for child abuse and neglect.
- Children's mental health grants, $7.6 million, are eliminated in the Senate bill.
SLIDE 4: SAFETY NET PROGRAMS
- The House and Senate cut the safety net (General Assistance) for indigent single adults by eliminating $4.5 million (House) to $20 million (Senate) of funds that support the most basic needs of adults living in deep poverty, most of whom have a disability. This will create more homelessness, mental health crises, and desperation.
- Families currently in the Minnesota Family Investment Program who have a disabled loved one, would lose $24 million in the Senate bill.
- Services to all MFIP families (transportation, car repair, job search) would be dramatically scaled back in a $28 million proposed reduction in the House version. The House would also prohibit education and training programs to parents unless they were working 20 hours per week.
SLIDE 5: HEALTH CARE
Both the House and Senate imagine huge savings for the general fund by restructuring public health care programs (Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare) into market-based products that people would select and purchase with subsidies based on income. We are extremely concerned that this would move away from the goal of universal coverage of basic health care (the subsidies look inadequate) and would erode the public health outcomes associated with access to preventive services, not to mention the public benefit that accrues to everyone with large-scale risk-pooling and purchasing.
- The Senate goes so far as to end Minnesota Care and Medical Assistance for 100,000 parents and children in favor of a subsidized product approach.
- The House eliminates MinnesotaCare for adults above 200% of the poverty level.
- The House projects $300 million of savings from a hoped-for federal waiver and the Senate books over a billion dollars of savings from its redesign, also dependent on federal waivers.
- The Department of Human Services has criticized the committees for not following the usual process of fiscal analysis and forecasting warning that the integrity of the budgeting process is at risk.
SLIDE 6: TALKING POINTS
- Cuts of this scale and the damage done to human lives is unacceptable.
- We can do better than this--and Minnesotans are eager to do better!
- I am personally willing to be part of the solution. I will pay more taxes, especially if a tax hike is fair.
- I urge you to do a better job of preserving services for people who need a hand up.
SLIDE 7: TAKE ACTION
- Take part in JRLC's Current Action Alert
- CLICK HERE for a Sample Letter to your legislator
- CALL-IN DAY: March 28, 2011
- Mark your calendar: May 11, 2011, 2:30 pm, for the JRLC Statehood Day Vigil--to remind our elected officials that our government was created for the benefit of the people
- Find out who represents you