Facing deficits, many states are imposing cuts that hurt vulnerable residents

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

From the summary:
To date, at least 18 states have made or proposed budget cuts that threaten vital services for many residents, including some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. Examples include:
+ Public health programs: At least 12 states have implemented or are considering cuts that will affect low-income children’s or families’ eligibility for health insurance or reduce their access to health care services. For example, Rhode Island’s governor has proposed eliminating health coverage for nearly 7,400 low-income parents; New Jersey’s governor has proposed cutting funds for charity care in hospitals by 15 percent; and California’s governor has proposed requiring many low-income families to pay more for their children’s health care.
+ Programs for the elderly and disabled: At least five states are cutting or proposing to cut medical, rehabilitative, home care, or other services needed by low-income people who are elderly or have disabilities, or significantly increasing the cost of these services. For example, Florida has frozen reimbursements to nursing homes and relaxed staffing standards and Rhode Island is requiring low-income elderly people to pay more for adult daycare.
+ K-12 education: At least 10 states are cutting or proposing to cut K-12 education; three of them are proposing cuts that would affect access to child care. For example: Florida cut school aid by an estimated $130 per pupil; Nevada eliminated funds for gifted and talented programs, and Arizona is considering eliminating child care subsidies for approximately 3,200 children in low-income working families.
+ Colleges and universities: At least 14 states have implemented or proposed cuts to public colleges and universities. For example, Florida has cut university budgets and community-college funding; and Kentucky and Virginia have cut university funding for the current fiscal year by 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Colleges and universities in these states are increasing tuition by 5 percent to 9 percent.
+ State workforce: At least 11 states have proposed or implemented reductions their state workforce. Workforce reductions often result in reduced access to services residents need. It also ads to states’ woes by contracting the state economy. New Jersey has proposed reducing the workforce by 3,000 employees through early retirement, lay-offs and attrition, leading an independent monitor to express concern about the impact on abused or neglected children losing experienced caseworkers; in Kentucky, the public defender will eliminate 10% of positions and decline certain types of cases; hiring freezes have been instituted in Arizona, California, Delaware and Minnesota.
When states cut spending, they lay off employees, cancel contracts with vendors, reduce payments to businesses and nonprofits that provide services, and cut benefit payments to individuals. All of these steps remove demand from the economy, which only worsens a downturn. Tax increases also remove demand from the economy by reducing the amount of money people have to spend.

Full Report (PDF; 71 KB)

Leave a Reply