Federal judge blocks cuts in state's home care services

Legislature approved reductions in response to financial crisis

A federal judge in Oakland has blocked planned state budget cuts in home care services for 133,000 low-income senior citizens and disabled adults and children.

The cuts were due to go into effect on Nov. 1 and were part of an emergency budget package enacted by the Legislature in July in response to the state's financial crisis.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by five individuals who receive home care and by several unions for workers who provide the care.

The injunction will halt the cuts until there is a full trial on the lawsuit. The trial has not yet been scheduled.

Melinda Bird, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said, "We are convinced a humanitarian disaster would have resulted from the precipitous and arbitrary withdrawal of essential services approved by the Legislature and the administration in the budget."

Lizelda Lopez, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Social Services, said the agency will challenge the order, but declined to say whether the challenge will occur through an appeal or the future trial.

The federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month by two disabled children, a senior citizen and two disabled adults receiving the home care, which is known as In-Home Support Services.

The lawsuit claims the methods used to determine who will receive the cuts are arbitrary and that the reductions violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the constitutional right to due process.

Lopez said a total of 462,000 low-income senior citizens, disabled and blind adults and disabled and blind children receive the home care services.

The planned reductions would end all services for about 36,000 people who are considered the least needy and would stop certain services, such as housekeeping and food shopping, for about 97,000 others.

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Like this comment
Posted by Clinton P.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

The first thing they need to do is determine how many of those on state in-home care are illegal aliens. Those that are need to be deported to their home country ASAP. That alone may very well make up the shorfall in funds.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

Don't hold your breath.

Like this comment
Posted by Scott
a resident of Laguna Vista
on Oct 21, 2009 at 9:05 am

Are these loony federal judges that are making rulings about California prisons (20% of the CA prison population are illegals), in-home care that includes illegal aliens, free schooling for illegals, welfare for illegals, etc. Clinton or Carter appointments? Falls in with the same line of thinking recently exposed in the ACORN investigtions -- the left wing loons have had a strategy for years of bankrupting the U. S. through welfare and entitlements.

Like this comment
Posted by Won Nut Lui
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

Califonia is the Titanic, and the government's solution is rearrange the deck chairs.

Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:05 am

Ya - I'm sure those loony federal judges and those left wing loons have had in mind all along that the best thing for the country is to bankrupt it and make it a communist dictator state that will eventually exterminate all the Republicans. I'm going to register as a democrat just so I will be able to live.

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