Friday, June 19, 2009

Deep cuts to the County Budget - it's happening now

Typically I like to use this space to tell you some good news, or uplifting information. Today, I'm afraid, not so much.

Today is the day our county will decide on some of the most drastic cuts we've faced - it's happening now, and so this is getting to you a day later than I'd like...but you may have seen the editorial in yesterday's Mercury News that outlines what we're all facing:

Half of the county's regional public health nurses — gone. These are the people who, among other things, make sure expectant mothers get prenatal care and that TB cases are properly managed.

Transitional beds for people recovering from mental illness — gone. Drug and alcohol treatment programs designed to keep people working — gone.

After eight straight years of budget deficits, there's no obvious fat left to trim. Programs once seen as bare essentials will be dramatically curtailed.

Please read the full editorial here. this nightmare would have been worse had the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System not worked with Deloitte to find $60M worth of savings and efficiencies...but it's bad enough, and there's little our county leaders can do about what they must do today.

...and, depending on what happens at the state level with California's budget crisis, this may not be the end of this story. Watch this space.

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