Archive for the ‘ Social Services ’ Category

SacBee: California’s huge 65-plus population poised for big growth

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
June 30, 2014

Thanks to high birth and immigration rates over the last several decades, California has one of the nation’s lowest proportions of over-65 residents – but it also has one of its higher elderly growth rates, a new Census Bureau report reveals.

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Politico: The unemployment insurance graveyard

Unemployment Benefits Application

There are 3.5 million people who have been jobless for more than 26 weeks.

Politico

By BURGESS EVERETT | 5/18/14 5:05 PM EDT

Senate negotiators toiled for months to revive long-term unemployment benefits in a manner that could draw the support of both centrist Republicans and liberal Democrats.

But in a few days, that effort will be all for naught.

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RollCall: Unemployment Extension Vote Not Worrying House Republicans

By Daniel Newhauser
Roll Call Staff
March 26, 2014, 5 a.m.

Reid, left, plans to bring the bipartisan unemployment benefits extension to the Senate floor soon. In the House, Boehner and his fellow Republicans plan to hold out for more concessions from Democrats.

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By Robert Costa
Monday, March 3, 2014

As a direct counter to President Obama’s recent emphasis on the gap between rich and poor, the upcoming House Republican budget will focus on welfare reform and recommend a sweeping overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid.

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LATimes: Obama backs away from a Republican budget priority

Obama's budget

President Obama is seeking to present a unified Democratic front in his next budget, scheduled for release in early March. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press / February 12, 2014)

By Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey
February 20, 2014, 7:13 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Seeking to present a unified Democratic front in an election year, President Obama is backing away from a proposal to restrain spending on entitlement programs, focusing instead on economic priorities likely to please his party’s base.

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The Hill: Democrats plead with Obama to abandon Social Security cut

The Hill

By Alexander Bolton – 01/11/14 12:00 PM EST

Democratic senators are pleading with President Obama to abandon his proposal to trim Social Security benefits before it becomes a liability for them in the midterm elections.

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LADailyNews: California budget surges to record high

Money

By Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 01/09/14, 6:09 PM PST |

In Los Angeles Thursday afternoon to unveil his annual state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown called his fiscal plan conservative, one that sets aside billions in a rainy day fund.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: California’s high living costs create high poverty

Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 – 12:00 am

Those on the starboard side of California’s political ledger often complain about the state’s high tax burden, its dense regulatory structure and other policies that make the state a difficult place in which to do business.

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DailyBulletin: California poorer than previously thought, Census says

California Poverty

By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 11/06/13, 8:24 PM PST |

An alternative method of looking at poverty has found that California has the highest rate of impoverished people in the nation, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. government.

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The Sun (AP): Social Security benefits to go up by 1.5 percent next year

Social Security - Direct Express

This undated handout image provided by the Social Security Administration shows a prepaid MasterCard debit card that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients who do not have bank accounts have the option of getting with their benefits instead of a paper check. The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a government measure of inflation that will be released Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Social Security Administration)

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press
Posted: 10/30/13, 7:02 AM PDT |

WASHINGTON — Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the government announced Wednesday.

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EBT Card

Over 47 million people nationwide receive food stamp assistance.

By Brad Plumer
Published: October 28 at 12:47 pm

The U.S. food-stamp program is set to shrink in the months ahead. The only real question is by how much.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) currently costs about $80 billion per year and provides food aid to 14 percent of all U.S. households — some 47 million people. Those numbers swelled dramatically during the recession.

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The Hill: Dems fear Obama’s Social Security cut will haunt them in 2014 races

The Hill

By Mike Lillis – 04/14/13 06:00 AM ET

A growing number of House Democrats are concerned that President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits will haunt the party at the polls in 2014.

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LATimes: Obama’s budget plan draws fire from both sides

Barack Obama

The proposal, to be released next week, would cut Social Security and other benefits by lowering the cost-of-living adjustment. It would also cut Medicare and raise some taxes on the wealthy.

By Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
April 5, 2013, 5:12 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The budget that President Obama is scheduled to release next week drew attacks Friday from both the left and right — a reaction that White House aides appeared to welcome as they sought to portray the plan as a middle-of-the-road attempt at compromise.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Demography underlies big issues in California

Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 – 8:26 am

The legislative session that reconvened this month faces no shortage of big issues, but underlying all of them is demographic change that is dramatically altering the face of California.

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LATimes: Fault lines also appearing on Democratic side in fiscal debate

Fiscal Cliff

Democrats relish Republican disunity in the fiscal debate, but splits of their own are emerging over Medicare.

By Christi Parsons, Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
December 16, 2012, 6:39 p.m.

WASHINGTON — For weeks, Democrats in Congress have been relishing the division and sniping within Republican ranks over whether to raise tax rates. But as negotiations over the budget crisis wear on and shift to a debate over spending cuts, the tables are turning.

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SacBee: California PUC approves giving free cellphones to poor, homeless

Cell phones

By Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 – 7:04 am

The poorest of the poor in California soon will have easier access to one of society’s modern conveniences: the cellphone.

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By Michael A. Fletcher,
Friday, December 14, 2012

Just as state governments are healing from the deep fiscal wound inflicted by the Great Recession, they are confronted by the dual threat of reduced federal help and ever increasing health-care costs, according to a new report.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/08/2012 07:04:56 AM PDT

Document: Read the Grand Jury report
Related story: Grand Jury criticizes Victorville fiscal practices

An investigation has concluded that the San Bernardino County Human Services Department isn’t cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office in its prosecution of welfare cases.

But a county spokesman disputes the Grand Jury’s findings.

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SacBee: Final California budget deal wasn’t all about saving money

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Jul. 1, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jul. 1, 2012 – 9:01 am

Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the Legislature’s first budget proposal in June because he said it was “not structurally balanced and puts us into a hole in succeeding years.”

The final 2012-13 budget agreement, however, didn’t do much to deepen the cuts. Instead, the negotiated changes focused on bridging philosophical differences and appealing to voters in November.

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LATimes: Jerry Brown cuts $195.7 million from budget

The governor uses line-item vetoes to eliminate 14,000 children from a care program, reduce Cal Grants college scholarships and trim state park funding.

 

By Chris Megerian and Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
June 29, 2012

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown sliced $195.7 million from the budget that lawmakers sent him, disappointing fellow Democrats by taking money from child care, college scholarships and state parks and adding more to a rainy-day fund.

In a series of line-item vetoes detailed Thursday, Brown brought general fund spending to $91.3 billion and the overall state budget, including dedicated funds and bond money, to $142.4 billion.

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SacBee: Democrats still trying to secure support for California budget

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
June 23, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders called their budget deal Thursday a “conceptual agreement” for good reason.

With floor votes planned in three days, Brown officials and lawmakers are still filling out major details of cuts to welfare-to-work and health care for low-income children that will determine exactly how the budget will impact programs.

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By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Jun. 22, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers announced a budget deal Thursday that imposes harsher consequences on welfare parents who cannot find work after two years and moves 880,000 low-income children into a cheaper state health care program.

The agreement came nearly one week after Democrats, under threat of losing their pay, sent Brown a $92.1 billion spending plan that avoided severe new cuts to safety net programs for the poor.

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LATimes: Key provisions of the state budget agreement

 

Spending on welfare, child care, home care, Medi-Cal, prisons, courts and state employees would be reduced. For now, education is relatively untouched.

June 21, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown and top Democratic lawmakers announced Thursday that they had reached a deal on state spending. Here are some key elements of the budget agreement:

Social services

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By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Jun. 14, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Thursday, Jun. 14, 2012 – 9:51 am

Legislative Democrats are poised to send Gov. Jerry Brown a budget that avoids deep new cuts in safety-net programs while reducing state worker pay and taking funds from courts and counties.

To help bridge a $15.7 billion deficit, the Democratic governor has asked his own party’s lawmakers to overhaul welfare-to-work, slash in-home care and require low-income students to earn higher grades for scholarship aid.

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SacBee: Gov. Jerry Brown, Democrats divided over welfare cuts

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers were divided Tuesday over the thorny issue of remaking California’s welfare program and whether to allow some parents to receive cash aid without finding work.

The dispute continued three days before the constitutional deadline for passing a state budget, with Brown issuing a public rebuke, saying the Democratic budget was “not structurally balanced and puts us into a hole in succeeding years.”

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DailyBulletin: Public hospitals target of new state cash grab

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Created: 05/31/2012 07:29:20 PM PDT

By Jim Steinberg Staff Writer

COLTON – Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the county’s hospital, stands to lose millions of dollars, if proposals under Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget become reality, county officials said.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzales said the proposals are “horrendous” because they could end up causing some to be denied care at a time when they need it most, after losing health insurance because they had become unemployed in the sagging economy.

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The Sun: Governor’s budget proposal could be ‘catastrophic’ for SB County

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/30/2012 02:04:14 PM PDT

San Bernardino County stands to lose $60 million in funding for its welfare and food stamp programs and would likely have to eliminate hundreds of positions under Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal, officials said.

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SFChronicle: Polls reveal mixed feelings on Brown’s tax plan

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Columnist
Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown must have been pretty tickled with the results of an independent poll released this week that showed most likely voters willing to support his November tax initiative, a key part of his plan to balance the state budget. But Brown could not have been quite as upbeat after reading a little deeper: Voters are none too pleased with many of the details of his tax hike and budget cuts, particularly those Democrats and independent voters he needs so badly to vote for the ballot measure.

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SFChronicle: Governor seeks to cut programs Dems pledge to save

Wyatt Buchanan
Monday, May 21, 2012

Sacramento– Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal attempts to close a formidable $15.7 billion deficit, but the real debate at the Capitol in the next few weeks probably will be over how to cut just a fraction of the big amount.

That’s because about $2 billion in the governor’s budget represents permanent reductions in spending on state welfare, child care and other programs that Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly have pledged to protect.

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By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, May. 20, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 20, 2012 – 8:30 am

Legislative Democrats aren’t organizing a bake sale just yet, but they say they will desperately search for cash in the coming weeks to avoid the most severe cuts proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Saying the state’s budget deficit has risen from $9.2 billion to $15.7 billion, the Democratic governor has proposed more cuts to programs that serve the state’s poorest residents.

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The Sun: Unemployment benefits to run out for 93,000 Californians

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/11/2012 05:23:52 PM PDT

An estimated 93,000 Californians lost unemployment benefits as of today when the federal government cut off funding that allowed the state to provide extended aid to the jobless since 2009.

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SacBee: Gov. Brown proposes big changes in CalWORKS

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

As unemployed Californians struggle to find work, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed strict rules for parents on welfare: Get a job in two years or lose nearly half of cash aid along with training and child care.

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SFChronicle: Brown’s budget proposal gives voters stark choice

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sacramento –Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan released last week poses a stark choice for Californians: approve a five-year $35 billion tax increase in November or watch the hatchet drop on public school funding – with cuts so deep the school year could be shortened by almost a month.

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Bloomberg: Brown Budget Sends ‘Ransom Note’ to California Voters on Taxes

By Michael B. Marois and James Nash – Jan 5, 2012 9:01 PM P

California (STOCA1) Governor Jerry Brown proposed a budget that would lop off the equivalent of three weeks from the public school year if voters reject his proposal for $7 billion in temporary tax increases.

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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 5, 2012

California’s top Senate Democrat today shut the door on Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to make deep cuts to social services programs in the first few months of the year.

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The PE: CONGRESS: Tax cut extension plans split Inland delegation

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona./The Press-Enterprise

The region’s politicians in Washington are split along partisan lines about how to extend tax cuts and jobless aid
BY BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON BUREAU

bgoad@pe.com

Published: 13 December 2011 08:28 PM

WASHINGTON — As the debate over extending a soon-to-expire payroll tax cut and benefits for the unemployed nears a crescendo in Congress, few corners of the nation have more at stake than does economically battered Inland Southern California.

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California schools, libraries, prisons and disabled services will all be affected — with more to come, Gov. Jerry Brown warns.

By Anthony York and Teresa Watanabe
Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento and Los Angeles — Gov. Jerry Brown announced nearly $1 billion in new state budget cuts, slashing spending on higher education and eliminating funding for free school-bus service but avoiding the deeper reductions to public schools that many had feared.

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LATimes: Deeper cuts to state budget expected

Lower-than-forecast revenue means automatic reductions will likely kick in. A shorter K-12 school year could result.

By Anthony York and Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times
November 17, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento— Sluggish state revenue is likely to trigger a new round of spending cuts that could mean a shorter school year and millions of dollars slashed from public universities, child care programs and services for the disabled, the Legislative Analyst’s Office says.

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The Sun: San Bernardino flooded in welfare funds

Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/23/2011 01:16:17 AM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — One staggering number tells the economic story of nearly half the city’s residents: $523,942,368.

More than half a billion dollars — that’s the amount of welfare assistance that is now pumped into the city annually, according to a report prepared by the county’s Legislation and Research Unit, Human Services Group.

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The PE: AUDIT: Inland Regional Center must repay $10 million

Inland Regional Center located on Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino.

BY JIM MILLER
SACRAMENTO BUREAU
jmiller@pe.com

Published: 21 October 2011 08:27 PM

SACRAMENTO — The nonprofit agency that serves developmentally disabled residents in Inland Southern California improperly spent almost $10 million and must repay the state, according to a highly critical audit released Friday that found continued widespread problems at the San Bernardino-based Inland Regional Center.

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The Sun: Derry pushes for continued fingerprinting of CalFresh applicants

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/13/2011 05:57:06 PM PDT

(The Associated Press)

A new state law ending a long-standing practice of fingerprinting food stamp applicants has drawn criticism from San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry, who said he will push to continue the practice in the county.

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DailyBulletin: DCFS director resigns

Interim leader’s last day Sept. 16
Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer
Created: 08/02/2011 08:33:04 PM PDT

The county’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services will undergo yet another leadership change, after the resignation this week of acting director Jackie Contreras.

She is the agency’s third chief in eight months to step down; her last day is Sept. 16.

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Bloomberg/Businessweek: Why the Debt Crisis Is Even Worse Than You Think

The National Debt Clock on 44th Street in New York just off Times Square on July 26. (Mark Peterson/Redux)

by Peter Coy
Friday, July 29, 2011

 

If Washington is deadlocked now, how will it deal with the much bigger debt problems that lurk in the decades to come?

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SacBee: Brown signs ‘Dream Act’ bill, vetoes new elderly care program

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
July 25, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown signed several dozen bills into law this afternoon, including a measure to allow college students who are undocumented immigrants to qualify for scholarships funded with private donations.

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DailyBulletin: Ranks of San Bernardino County welfare recipients grow dramatically

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/15/2011 06:18:04 PM PDT

This year, the number of people who receive some type of welfare in the city of San Bernardino, 96,380, is 140 percent larger than the entire population of Redlands, 68,747.

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LATimes: California Democrats pass budget with taxes, cuts and tricks

Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D- Gardena) is held back by Manuel Perez (D-Coachella), left; Jerry Hill (D- San Mateo); and Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), as he exchanges words with Assemblyman Donald Wagner (R-Irvine) on Wednesday. (Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee / June 15, 2011)

By Shane Goldmacher and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
June 16, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento — Democratic lawmakers passed a rare on-time state budget Wednesday over Republican objections, but the plan — balanced with a blend of taxes, cuts and clever accounting — faces an uncertain fate at the hands of Gov. Jerry Brown.

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The Sun: In defense of Medicare

Area seniors don’t trust changes
Mediha Fejzagic DiMartino, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/04/2011 09:50:12 PM PDT

Hunkering under a $14 trillion debt ceiling, Congress and the Obama administration are negotiating possible changes to Medicare and other benefits programs as part of a deal to increase the government’s ability to borrow.

But local seniors want lawmakers to keep their paws off the federally-sponsored health insurance program for the elderly.

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The PE: Older residents’ numbers rise, put more demand on shrinking budgets

04:02 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By JIM MILLER and BEN GOAD
The Press-Enterprise

The number of seniors in Inland Southern California increased by nearly a third during the past decade, putting added pressure on government programs and services for older residents.

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The PE: State seeks more changes at Inland center for developmentally disabled

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, May 26, 2011

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Inland Regional Center’s first attempt at getting off state-imposed probation has fallen short, with a recent state letter highlighting continued concerns about operations at the San Bernardino-based facility.

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DailyBulletin: County switches control

Supervisors to oversee 2 departments directly
Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer
Created: 05/17/2011 09:34:50 PM PDT

A month after one of his deputies sparked the anger of Los Angeles County supervisors by defying a direct order, the board voted Tuesday to seize authority over two troubled departments from county CEO Bill Fujioka.

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LATimes: Insolvency looms for federal entitlement programs, government warns

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, pictured Thursday leaving a Blair House meeting on the budget, announced that insolvency looms for government entitlements. (Evan Vucci, AP Photo)

By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
May 13, 2011, 11:19 a.m.

Caught in the sluggish recovery from the last recession, Social Security and Medicare face an increasingly dismal fiscal future, the federal government reported Friday in its annual review of the two mammoth entitlement programs.

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DailyBulletin: Supervisors seek relief

L.A. County pays millions to homeless
Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer
Created: 04/20/2011 09:06:26 PM PDT

Faced with the prospect of further budget cutbacks, two Los Angeles County supervisors who represent Inland Valley cities proposed a new plan this week to control the rapid growth of welfare payments to the poor.

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Dutton

 

From the Office of Senator Bob Dutton
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SACRAMENTO – An effort by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to move California closer to making sure that those who receive welfare use those taxpayer funds as effectively and efficiently as possible was killed by Democrats during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee this week.

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DailyBulletin: Judge reduces ex-county worker’s bail by more than $1 million

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 03/28/2011 07:12:43 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – A judge on Monday lowered bail by more than $1 million for a former county welfare worker accused of stealing from needy families, despite a prosecutor’s concern she may be a flight risk.

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The billions of dollars in cuts to government services signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown address a portion of the estimated $26-billion deficit facing California. Brown is still negotiating with Republicans on a proposal to put tax extensions before voters.

By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento—

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick.

Read the rest of this entry »

SacBee: Brown’s Countdown, Day 70: An all-cuts budget may surface

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Mar. 20, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Cutting universities, shifting prisoners to county jails and slashing funds for Medi-Cal patients is difficult.

But from a political perspective, those were among the easier moves.

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LATimes: Lawmakers OK billions in program cuts in California budget

The effort to reduce California’s budget shortfall of $26 billion had bipartisan support. Gov. Jerry Brown is still working to secure votes on more contentious parts of his plan.

By Shane Goldmacher and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
March 17, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento — State lawmakers Wednesday approved billions of dollars in cuts to welfare, medical programs for the poor and in-home care for the elderly and frail, among other services, moving forward key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget reduction package.

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The PE: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Haugen to head First 5

Haugan

 

10:00 PM PST on Saturday, March 12, 2011

Submitted to The Press-Enterprise

Linda Haugan, assistant executive officer of San Bernardino County Human Services, has been voted First 5 San Bernardino commission chair.

She began as a commissioner for First 5 San Bernardino in 2005.

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DailyBulletin: County seeks to lock in funding

Tracy Garcia, Staff Writer
Created: 03/07/2011 10:04:28 PM PST

In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to shift certain state programs to local governments, Los Angeles County supervisors have voted to seek a state constitutional amendment to ensure a steady funding source for programs moved to local control.

Earlier this year, Brown proposed a series of “realignments” to cut costs, including making local governments responsible for state programs such as:

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The Sun: Two former county welfare workers face multiple felonies

By Joe Nelson
Created: 03/03/2011 02:17:33 PM PST

Eight people, including two former employees of San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department, have been indicted on suspicion of stealing more than $500,000 of taxpayer money intended for needy families.

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LATimes: State Senate Budget Committee votes on cuts

Seeking to trim $12 billion from California’s spending plan, the committee votes to increase drug Medi-Cal costs for patients and reduce payments to providers, among other cuts.

By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
February 17, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento —

Lawmakers on a key state budget panel Wednesday took their first steps, albeit gingerly, to trim government spending, agreeing to charge the poor more for medical care, pay less to the physicians who tend to them and reduce what taxpayers spend on children’s eye care, among other cuts.

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SacBee: California’s legislative analyst lists possible cuts without tax extension

By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 – 6:36 am

The Legislative Analyst’s Office provides a sobering take on how to solve the state’s $26.6 billion deficit without new tax dollars in a memo released Monday.

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LATimes: Obama’s budget would trim funds to California

The president’s plan would give less energy assistance for poor households and less money for reducing neighborhood blight and beach pollution. But the House’s new GOP majority wants to cut much deeper.

By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
February 15, 2011

Reporting from Washington —

For struggling California, President Obama’s proposed budget will provide less money for a state government awash in its own red ink, less energy assistance for tens of thousands of poor households and less funding for projects such as those aimed at reducing beach pollution and neighborhood blight.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: What if budget cuts get blocked in courts?

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 – 12:14 am

Hundreds of developmentally disabled Californians and their parents and care providers packed the Capitol on Thursday to angrily or tearfully denounce Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2011-12 budget.

It was the latest outpouring of opposition to cuts in health and welfare services he says are needed to close a chronic deficit. Testifying en masse at almost daily legislative hearings, advocates for the poor, the aged and the disabled have hammered on two themes:

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InlandPolitics: California politicians oblivious to state’s budget woes

Thursday, February 10, 2011 – 11:00 a.m.

Let’s face it.

Politicians overseeing California’s state and local governments have their collective heads up their rear-ends.

Yes, both parties are to blame.

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InlandPolitics Commentary: Brown’s budget plan: Dump on counties?

Monday, February 7, 2011 – 5:15 a.m.

When one reads about California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed fixes for the state’s ailing budget, one thing is becoming crystal clear.

The return of the words ‘unfunded mandate’ is upon us.

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The Sun: IHSS under threat

Proposed cuts attacked
Clients, providers defend need for in-home services
James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/06/2011 07:01:57 AM PST

Patricia Crouch’s hands shake.

She sometimes has trouble opening pill bottles. She needs help bathing, dressing and cooking.

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The Sun: Mandatory co-pays sought

Brown says they could save half a billion annually
James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/06/2011 07:02:01 AM PST

If the Legislature approves Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, poor and disabled Californians insured by the state’s safety-net health insurance program would have to start paying for some services.

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The Sun: Inland Regional Center responds to state probation

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/24/2011 07:39:12 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The head of the Inland Regional Center on Monday outlined steps to comply with its probation, saying she expected such restrictions after complaints of fiscal mismanagement, improper bidding and a hostile work environment.

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The PE: State puts Inland Regional Center on probation, demands information

11:09 PM PST on Sunday, January 23, 2011

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – The state has put the Inland Regional Center on probation following months of scrutiny into the operations at the San Bernardino-based facility, the largest of 21 nonprofit agencies that contract with the state to arrange services for developmentally disabled residents.

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The Sun: Seniors targeted for cuts

Brown’s budget trims adult day-care program
James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/17/2011 08:35:48 PM PST

Services for seniors and the disabled were often targeted for cuts under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that trend is continuing under Gov. Jerry Brown.

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By Kevin Yamamura
kyamamura@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 – 8:13 am

To maneuver his budget through the Legislature and raise the millions of dollars necessary for a successful ballot campaign, Gov. Jerry Brown will have to align the many facets of his plan just right. The Democratic governor wants a two-thirds, bipartisan vote from lawmakers to cut spending and to ask voters for higher taxes, striking at the core of the Capitol’s ideological divide. His plan touches so many levels of government that almost every interest group in California has a stake.

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DailyBulletin: Affordable housing firm defends $42.5M project

CORE stands by work

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 10/24/2010 05:01:02 AM PDT

Representatives of a national low income housing nonprofit stand behind a $42.5 million project approved by Rancho Cucamonga in 2007 that became a focal point in the criminal trial of Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez.

City Council members approved the project proposed by National Community Renaissance, or National CORE, on a 4-0 vote in August 2007. City Manager Jack Lam, who was the city redevelopment agency”s chairman at the time, Mayor Don Kurth, and redevelopment director Linda Daniels, who opposed the project, were all absent when the vote occurred.

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SFChronicle: Welfare recipients pay banks millions in fees

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, October 15, 2010

(10-15) 04:00 PDT Sacramento – –

Banks are making nearly $1.5 million a month in fees by charging California welfare recipients to withdraw their benefits using ATMs and debit cards – an amount that has nearly doubled since 2008.

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California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting
Health and Welfare

October 15, 2010 | Lance Williams and Christina Jewett

The Southern California hospital chain under investigation for suspected Medicare fraud – and the labor union that blew the whistle – have both made significant political donations to officials with roles, present or prospective, in the probe.

As disclosed Tuesday by California Watch and the Los Angeles Times, Ontario-based Prime Healthcare Services is being investigated by state and federal authorities in connection with high rates of septicemia, or blood poisoning, reported among Medicare patients at the 13-hospital chain.

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Schwarzenegger vetoes nearly $1 billion for social programs before signing the budget bill lawmakers had passed about eight hours earlier. Advocates for the poor say the cuts are too deep.

By Jack Dolan and Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times

October 9, 2010

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday vetoed nearly $1 billion in spending on welfare, child care, special education and other programs before signing the budget bill that lawmakers had passed about eight hours earlier after a marathon overnight session.

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
October 4, 2010 | 5:20 pm

California officials are cutting off use of state-issued welfare debit cards at casinos across the country and on cruise ships, in the wake of Times reports that the aid cards have been used to spend or withdraw millions of dollars in benefits at popular vacation spots including the Las Vegas strip and on ships sailing from ports around the world.

More than $69 million meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children was accessed in all 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services.

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LATimes: $69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state

Las Vegas tops the list with $11.8 million spent at casinos or taken from ATMs, but transactions in Hawaii, Miami, Guam and elsewhere also raise questions. Officials say budget cuts hinder investigations.

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento —

More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.

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The Sun: Lack of state budget might force preschool closures in Redlands

Chantal M. Lovell, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/30/2010 06:11:01 PM PDT

The state Legislature’s inability to pass a budget is hitting home for two preschools in Redlands.

Redlands Day Nursery and First Steps Child Development may have to close their doors if the Legislature continues at a stalemate much longer, said Redlands Day Nursery Program Director Deborah Wasbotten. Both are subsidized by the state and receive no money in the absence of a state budget.

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CapitolWeekly: How much IHSS fraud is there?

By Malcolm Maclachlan | 09/30/10 12:00 AM PST

Nearly a year after the Schwarzenegger administration awarded $26.5 million to county district attorneys to combat fraud in the state In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) system, DAs are beginning to report some results.

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DailyBulletin: Feds, county at odds

Overseer criticized officials for unspent stimulus money
Joe Nelson and Josh Dulaney, Staff Writers
Created: 09/20/2010 06:58:08 PM PDT

San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department spent less than a third of the $3.5 million it received from the federal government for job-placement programs during a nine-month review period, according to the state inspector general for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The department spent only 27 percent ($954,057 out of $3,586,571) of its money received for subsidized employment between July 1, 2009, and March 31, according to Laura Chick.

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California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting
Money and Politics

September 21, 2010 | Lance Williams

Here’s one reason why the unemployment rate in California’s Inland Empire is stuck above 14 percent.

A San Bernardino County jobs program obtained $3.58 million in federal stimulus grants to provide local jobs and failed to spend most of the money, says state Inspector General Laura Chick.

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The Sun: One in 7 Americans now live in poverty

U.S. rate reaches 14.3% – 43.6 million people
Mediha Fejzagic DiMartino, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/16/2010 10:10:40 PM PDT

A line of people waiting to receive groceries on Thursday snaked around a block in Rancho Cucamonga.

To secure their spot, some people arrived as early as noon for the 4:30 p.m. distribution at Gap Food Bank Ministries.

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L.A. NOW
Southern California — this just in
September 3, 2010 | 2:47 pm

Welfare payments to children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County increased in July to $52 million, prompting renewed calls from one county supervisor to rein in public benefits to such families.

The payments, made to illegal immigrants for their U.S. citizen children, included $30 million in food stamps and $22 million from the CalWORKS welfare program, according to Los Angeles County figures released Friday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

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PE: Prosecutions of elder abuse cases decline under Brown

11:19 PM PDT on Sunday, August 29, 2010

By CHRISTINA JEWETT
California Watch

The office of Attorney General Jerry Brown has dismissed an increasing number of criminal cases against defendants suspected of elder abuse, while cutting back on surprise inspections to investigate violence and neglect in nursing homes.

A California Watch review of elder abuse prosecutions found Brown’s office in sharp contrast with his predecessor, Bill Lockyer, who made similar cases a top priority during his two terms. In addition to dismissing abuse prosecutions already in motion, Brown’s office has filed fewer new cases per year than Lockyer’s office.

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