SCHA-LA

Governor’s Proposed HIV Budget

Posted in CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on June 22, 2010

Brief-State Budget Cuts #9 FY10-11 May Revise-061010-final to read the whole 3-page brief.

Highlights (or, rather, lowlights) include:

  • The budget includes the Governor’s January proposal to eliminate all ADAP support from county jails.
  • There is a proposed $32.7 million reduction to ADAP.
  • Eliminate full MediCal coverage for immigrants who have lawfully resided in the US less than five years.
  • Eliminate domestic and related services for IHSS recipients who have “less severe” impairments
  • Reduce the monthly SSI grant for an individual
  • Eliminate Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) and the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
  • The complete elimination of CalWORKs by October 1, 2010.

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CA May HIV Budget Revision Proposal

Posted in CA Budget by SCHA-LA on June 22, 2010

Click on the link to download the brief:  Brief-State Budget Cuts #9 FY10-11 May Revise-061010-final

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HIV Commission Brief #1 on ADAP $$

Posted in hiv by SCHA-LA on December 8, 2009

Brief-ADAP #1-120109-w Comm Ltr

Please click on the link above to read a 12-page brief in anticipation of ADAP (the AIDS Drug Assistance Program) being impacted by the California state budget.

There have already been demonstrations in San Francisco.

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sign-on letter to preserve AIDS Drug Assistance Program in CA

Posted in CA Budget by SCHA-LA on November 20, 2009
All,I know that this will come as a surprise to a lot of you, but we haven’t had much of a chance to talk with the community about the forthcoming expected ADAP crisis in California yet. We have been pulling together materials and developing a brief so that we could alert the community with as much information as possible. Part of our response includes a planning community sign-on letter for the end of the month.

However, not all plans work according to our schedules and we have just been alerted that we need to produce the community sign-on letter and need to have as many organizations as possible sign on IMMEDIATELY.

I hope you will understand the urgency of this issue and the important of adding your name to the chorus now.

Thanks,

Craig A. Vincent-Jones
Executive Director
Los Angeles County Commission on HIV
3530 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1140
Los Angeles, CA 90010

TEL 213.639.6714
FAX 213.637.4748
EML cvincent-jones@lachiv.org
WEB www.hivcommission-la.info

Please read the sign-on letter below. At this point, we’re only signing organizations/groups. Have them confirm their names with Craig Vincent Jones (cvincent-jones@lachiv.org or Dawn McClendon (dmcclendon@lachiv.org). PLEASE DO THIS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. TIME IS OF THE
ESSENCE.

November 19, 2009

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, California 95814

RE: Full Funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

We are writing to demand full funding for California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) in FY 2010-2011.

ADAP is the cornerstone of California’s public health effort to fight HIV/AIDS. Failure to fully fund the program will leave thousands of Californians at risk for more severe illness and even death. Underfunding could also cause a public health disaster and significantly limit the state’s ability to prevent new HIV infections. Reductions in ADAP will cost the state millions more in future health care dollars than any savings realized in the near term. Cuts in ADAP will also increase burdens on our already-taxed emergency rooms and other “safety net” providers who are not equipped to deal effectively with HIV and AIDS.

More than 34,000 low-income uninsured and underinsured Californians depend on ADAP for life-saving medications. Reduction in ADAP services will lead to advanced HIV disease, increased co-morbidities and even premature death for Californians living with HIV.

Medications provided by ADAP can help prevent transmission of HIV. People on effective treatment regimens can reduce their viral load (the amount of HIV detected in the blood) to undetectable levels which makes them less likely to transmit the virus to others. For every new HIV infection we prevent, the state saves an estimated $600,000
in lifetime treatment costs.

California cut essential life-saving state HIV/AIDS programs by some $85 million last year. The cuts vastly reduced the state’s capacity to prevent, treat and serve the estimated 160,000 Californians living with HIV/AIDS. Any cuts to ADAP will leave many living with HIV no access to life-saving drugs and Californians at risk vulnerable to a renewed spread of the virus.’

We urge you to show leadership in your FY 2010 -2011 budget proposal by fully funding ADAP. People wlth HIV and people at risk for HIV must not be asked to pay for state budget cuts with their health and their lives.

Sincerely,

AIDS Emergency Fund
AIDS Legal Referral Panel
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS Service Center
American Academy of HIV Medicine, California Chapter
Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
Black Coalition on AIDS
California Conference of Local AIDS Directors
California Positive Women’s Network
Center for AIDS Research, Educations, and Services of Sacramento
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Projects
City of Los Angeles, AIDS Coordinator’s Office
City of Pasadena Public Health Department
Common Ground-The Westside Community Center
County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy
Desert AIDS Project
Face to Face/Sonoma County AIDS Network
Foothill AIDS Project
HIV ACCESS   Alameda County, CA
HIV Health Services Planning Council-San Francisco
HIV Health Services Planning Council-Sacramento
Immune Enhancement Project
Los Angeles County HIV Drug & Alcohol Task Force
Los Angeles County HIV Mental Health Task Force
Los Angeles County Commission on HIV
Leland House, Catholic Charities CYO
Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
Martin Luther King/Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center – OASIS Clinic
Mental Health America of San Diego County
North County Health Services, Inc.
Northeast Valley Health Corporation
Positive Resource Center
Project Inform
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
Sonoma County Commission on AIDS
Sonoma County People with AIDS Advocacy Committee/Reconnect Action Committee
STOP AIDS
Strong Consulting
Van Ness Recovery House
Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease

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Save City of LA AIDS Coordinators Office

Posted in hiv by SCHA-LA on November 2, 2009

Agenda Special PH 110409 SOCOD Fact Sheet CFS 101309

COD Fact Sheet CFS 101309

COD Special PH 2009 DOD Consolidation flyer11-04-09 shreddedribbonflyer-cityaidscoord

As we know, the State Office of AIDS has been virtually stripped of State funding for HIV-related services. Please think about this “consolidation” and consider the potential impact on people affected by HIV in the City of Los Angeles should the City AIDS Coordinator’s Office get subsumed into a larger body.

20 YEARS AFTER MAYOR BRADLEY CREATED THE AIDS COORDINATORS OFFICE, IT WOULD CEASE TO EXIST AS OF THE “CONSOLIDATION”

Call for Support for the Continued Existence

of the Commission on Disability and the Department on Disability

WHAT:

The City of Los Angeles Department on Disability (DOD) and the Commission on Disability (COD) is threatened in the City’s budget process, again. Los Angeles City Council is considering ELIMINATING the DOD and COD as they now exist, and merging their roles and functions into the Human Services Department, which is an amalgamation of three [former] City Departments – Commission on the Status of Women; Commission for Children, Youth and their Families; and the Human Relations Commission. Each year, DOD serves over 15,000 people with disabilities (including persons living with HIV/AIDS), and provides technical assistance to hundreds of organizations (private and public), as well as to local and international governments.

EFFECT:

“MARGINAL COST SAVINGS” from cutbacks and merging of the Department will seriously impact our ability to provide opportunities for employment, health services, and all other essential resources for persons with disabilities and other marginalized populations; and it will curtail our ability to obtain both government and private funding for the benefit of all residents with disabilities.

NEED:

“WHAT YOU CAN DO” – Express your views “in-person” by contacting the offices of the Mayor at (213) 978-0600, or Mayor@LACity.org; or contact City Councilmembers (see below or go to the City’s website at http://www.LACity.org for contact information). MOST IMPORTANT: Attend the City’s Council Meetings to voice your support during Public Testimony.

THESE ARE CRITICAL ISSUES, SO PLEASE LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD IMMEDIATELY!

WHERE:

Los Angeles City Hall

Board of Public Works

200 North Spring Street, Room 360,

Los Angeles

WHEN:

Wednesday, November 4th at 1:00pm

Each year, DOD services over 15,000 people with disabilities (including persons living with HIV/AIDS, and the hard-of-hearing and deaf communities), and provides technical assistance to hundreds of organizations (private and public), as well as to local and international governments. If consolidated, it will eliminate their ability to function as they now exist!

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Angels of Change 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by SCHA-LA on September 25, 2009

2010cover

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Distress Call from WORLD (HIV+ women)

Posted in hiv, Uncategorized by SCHA-LA on September 24, 2009

I received this from a friend of mine and current board member, Cecilia Chung. She is the also the Chair of the San Francisco City & County Human Rights Commission:

for information about the organization, click here

Dear Supporters of HIV+ women,

I am writing in my role as a board member of Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Disease (WORLD), the nonprofit organization that is exclusively dedicated to supporting women living with HIV/AIDS. This organization has helped a significant number of HIV+ women since its inception in 1991.

WORLD started as a small support group for HIV-positive women to share information, resources and survival strategies. Today, WORLD has grown into an internationally-known organization linking 12,000 people in 85 countries.

Our mission is to connect HIV-positive women, their families, allies, and communities to one another through peer-based education, support, advocacy, and leadership development. WORLD is a diverse organization for, by, and about women living with, and at risk for, HIV/AIDS.

Despite the economic downturn and various withdrawals of funding promises from different organizations, WORLD is deeply committed to our mission — serving women and families living with HIV — especially in these hard economic times. Your donation will help us keep our commitment to all our clients.

To donate online, please go to: http://www.womenhiv.org

To donate by check, please mail your donations to:

WORLD
414 13th Street, Second Floor
Oakland , CA 94612

Please help in any way you can and please help spread the words!

Thanks!

Cecilia

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Office of AIDS FY2009-10 Budget Implementation Plan

Posted in CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on August 19, 2009

first 12 pages (summary) of 78.

Approximately $85 million General Fund (GF) was eliminated in FY2009-10. This is approximately half of the FY2008-09 GF. The total OA budget for FY2009-10 is $487.6 million. This includes $154 million in Federal Funds and $251 million in ADAP rebate funds (Special Fund).

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images from 08/11/09 protest against the hiv budget cuts

Posted in Activism, CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on August 13, 2009
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notes on budget from 2 conf calls

Posted in CA Budget by SCHA-LA on July 29, 2009

Okay … so yesterday could only have been worse if my wife had told me that she wants a divorce.  Fortunately, she didn’t, but that may well have been because I stormed out of the house and went to the library to read the last 400 pages of HP7.

Before I go on, let me just state that it was a perfect storm. It’s ‘that time of the month’, it’s 100 degrees where I live, and it’s methotrexate day. Did I mention that my laptop crashed as soon as I got home, and that’s why I didn’t get this out last night? Maybe it’s a good thing. I had time to sleep on it. Or rather, I had a sleepless night of worrying about my computer instead of worrying about the budget.

The governor signed the budget, as we all know. That’s the end of Prop 36 and basically HIV social services.

I was on this ‘invitation-only’ conference call hosted by Bismarck Obando (the CA Director of External Affairs) and Michael C. Genest (CA Director of Finance).  What a pair of knobs. I actually had to get off the call early because there was so much bullshit and double-talk that I couldn’t stop throwing up long enough to write it all down. Because I was pacing, and muttering, I can hardly read my handwriting, so this is my best effort:

On the one hand, Genest talked about enacting the “largest tax increase in the State’s history, in February”), and then on the other, “Zero tax increases”.

He said that they had to come up with $24 billion in “solutions”.  Please – I think this is the most offensive part. At least give the people of California – especially the people from whom you just cut their lifelines – the dignity of calling things what they actually are.  Defunding day support for Alzheimer’s patients is a “solution” to … what? Dropping thousands of children off medical care is a “difficult solution” to what? Do we really want people living with Alzheimer’s, AIDS, and children under the age of 5 (among others) to support the weight of the 8th largest economy in the world so that multi-millionaire actors and others don’t have to pay taxes? Apparently we do (as long as they don’t have to see it, of course – so thank god for the prison industrial complex!)

He added that this budget deficit was “not solved in a fiscally pure way” (he referenced page 4 in the 52 page “CA State Budget, which one can download at dof.ca.gov). It “left temporary solutions”, including $8 billion which we have on loan from the feds, which will need to be replaced by 2011.

Then, taking a page from Obama’s campaign, they started rambling on about hope. Not in that exact language, though. Instead, he said “[the] economy will start to turn in the 4th quarter” (10/09). He immediately added, “as yet we haven’t seen any hard signs of that recovery”. I might add: or soft signs… or any signs. But, one can hope, right?

We are going to start 2010 “$7-8 billion in the hole”.

“We have not seen the worst of the budget crisis” (reminder: what about the economy starting to turn around? Or is that so 30 seconds ago?)

This was funny. I’m no accountant, but I have seen the Sopranos, so I feel at least as informed as the Director of Finance. The State is going to “borrow” from local government (Prop 1A, which I thought was voted down), but they are “hoping” (again with the hope!) to “make it virtually invisible” [to local governments]. $2.2 billion disappears and no one notices? Sounds like the money they lost in Iraq all those years ago. But back to the topic. The State, with its impeccable credit rating, is making a “rock solid guarantee” to the local governments from whom it is stealing. They can get their money back: “AS A LOAN”.

Let’s move to page 6, where we are informed about “Expendable solutions”. In other words: people whose voices absolutely do not factor in to the budget.

This is the part where we learn that the legislature fucked up and committed what might be an unconstitutional act in submitting the budget, forcing our sweet governor to play the bad guy. Pay no attention to that man on YouTube behind the giant knife telling people that they need to “lighten up”.  Now it is clear: the reason he was forced to veto what he did is because the “tax increase card” was played in February – really! They said that! The “tax increase card”. They addressed (and they really said this too) “$24 billion in PROBLEMS”. Problems like children needing medical care? Like drug dependent individuals needing substance abuse treatment? Like teachers needing salaries? Anyway – back to the problems…

There was a “handshake deal” which would have left a $917 million reserve”. That reserve was “small, but in the last session, some ‘solutions’ weren’t approved” which resulted in the “blue pencil”. Luckily for us we have such a hero as our governor. He “fulfilled his constitutional obligation”, despite the legislature failing to do that by submitting an “imbalanced budget”.

Here’s the take home message part of it all:

The governor “didn’t want to do most of them”. “He had no choice”. He had to “restore a prudent reserve”. Here is the kicker – not to be confused with “the congress made me do it”: When asked how he decided what to line item out of the budget, we learned that “The governor vetoed what he could” [veto and sustain]. That’s “pretty much what this list is”.

All these years, apparently, taxes have been weighted on high income earners and this just isn’t right. They may earn a lot, but it goes up and down. That’s why we have such fluctuations. Sounds like a call for flat tax to me – which, of course, disproportionally impacts the poorer segments. [That was me, by the way, not the government wankers]

Even though on page 18 of the budget, it’s referred to as a “$509.6 million reduction” to CalWorks, what they actually did is to “beef up” the program.

They are going to start pursuing tax reform. Never saw that one coming. Hmmm.

They also want to deal with the “gold-plated pension system” for State employees. At this point we learned that Genest (or was it Obando) had his own problems:  his wife was complaining to him! Well! That’s sharing the pain…

We learned that this administration is “spending less than when Pete Wilson was in office”.  Since when is fucking Pete Wilson the standard-bearer?

We learned that “corrections spending has really gone wild in the past few years” – and how expensive being under federal receivership is. The $785.5 million in cuts haven’t really been “fleshed out”. Oh, as an aside, I learned that there is actually a group called Citizens Against Homicide. (interested? Their website is http://www.citizensagainsthomicide.org)

On a positive note, we are “eliminating $35.1 million General Fund for various Community Clinic Grants” (page 23 of the budget). Expanded Access to Primary Care (EAPC) which is partially funded through a tobacco tax will retain that $10 million in tobacco money.

Bill Pearl of http://www.lbreport.com/ asked if the governor supports ending a partial tax release for ship bunker fuel which is environmentally disgusting and costing the state revenue. The governor has “no formal position”. Good to know.

With regard to child welfare and Medi-Cal, a conference call participant asked, if cost of living increases are gone, how can counties continue to adhere? The governor has “not had that discussion internally”. Good to know.

With regard to the cuts to Alzheimer’s day care resources, it was asked “How will programs be phased out?” We were told that the governor is “not really prepared” because the legislature “spared these programs” so he didn’t “make a plan”, but since it was a “last-minute veto” there has been no preparation. Good to know.

So, at this point I had to disengage because I was going into fucking spasms.

Plus, I had another conference call, this one with Michelle Roland from the State Office of AIDS.

Here is what I got from that call:

First, there are 2 good items and 2 bad items. Let’s start with the good:

Surveillance was not vetoed. The only reduction is $1 million (from $7.7 million from general funds) which we can meet through some other mechanisms, leaving no impact. I believe she said what the mechanisms were, but I was, at this point, trying to pull over so I could listen to the call in the car and not drive at the same time – just in case…

The other good item is ADAP. There were “significant general funds reductions” but we will compensate with other funds. There was a $25.5 million (new) reduction to ADAP from general funds but there is “special money” so we – at this time – don’t need to change the formulary or anything like that. But this special money will only meet the need for a short period of time. We need to plan for the future.

And the bad news:

Care and support are now getting $0 general funds. This includes EIP, case management, TMP, and housing (RALF). What are we left with? HRSA and HUD/HOPWA. We will have 50% of the budget we did have.

Prevention, counseling & testing also gets $0 general funds support. That leaves us with 20% of the resources we were working with. There are no specific details on what’s going to happen – hopefully by the end of the week.

Significant reduction in state support: 18 jobs will go away.

CSP is Ryan White funded, so not an issue.

We can use rebates for Maintenance of Effort, so we shouldn’t lose Ryan White funds over the next few years due to lack of MOE. [As an aside, apparently MOE was “not an issue” in the budget discussions from very early on because they think that the feds won’t require it. What is that thought based on? Who knows.]

TMP was 100% general-funds supported and is now getting 0%. The current plan is to allocate support money to enable local jurisdictions to determine how to spend it the best way. Nothing concrete here yet.

Things to know: Ryan White money can be used for core medical & case management. It either can or can’t (I couldn’t hear!) be used for lab tests.

The vouchers are no longer available.

She said that we should be able to administer Medi-cal waivers through the state, but not sure.

Case management will be under the ‘care and support package’.

In actuality, “around $83 million” was cut, including cuts to ADAP and other programs.

Prevention and testing: this years budget was $41 million combined general funds and federal. Now we are left with just federal, which is $9 million. In other words, we have 20% of the budget remaining.

So… where does that leave us? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS? how much of this did I get right?

GO TO THIS TOWN HALL MEETING TO FIND OUT:

With the Governor’s announcement today of additional line item cuts totaling $656 million, determining the long-term impact of drastic budget cuts will be a top priority for local governments, schools and universities and direct service health organizations.

JOIN US this Thursday, July 30 from 6:00-8:00 PM, for a panel discussion on The Future of California. Your attendance is a demonstration to the Governor and legislative leaders that slashing funds for education, our social safety net and those most vulnerable is not the future we want.

Demand more, let your voice be heard. RSVP today, space will be limited (Fredy.Ceja@sen.ca.gov).

State Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Presents

“The Future of California:
A Post-Budget Analysis”


A panel discussion featuring

Moderator: Joe Mathews, New America Foundation
Hon. Gilbert Cedillo, California State Senate (D-22)
Hon. Robert Hertzberg (Retired), California Forward

Dr. Dowell Myers, University of Southern California

Dr. Robert Ross, The California Endowment

Thursday, July 30, 2009
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The California Endowment—Yosemite Room
(1000 N. Alameda St., LA 90012)
Free Parking

RSVP to Fredy.Ceja@sen.ca.gov or (213) 612-9566

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