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Home Care Advocates Urge Schwarzenegger to Spare Their Programs

People who depend on home care services are demanding Governor Schwarzenegger find funding to save their programs. About 100 home care workers, patients and advocates for the disabled staged a rally outside the governor's office. They're upset because Schwarzenegger has proposed to make deep cuts to home care services. They say home care is less expensive than placing people in nursing homes where the state would have to pick up the tab.

Evan LeVang is with Independent Living Services of Northern California in Chico.

"It'll put us at the level of a third world nation if we turn back 40 years of progress," says LeVang. "This is the safety net people need. If they become disabled, when they grow old in our society and they're not wealthy."

But, Governor Schwarzenegger's press secretary Aaron McClear says the state's $24-billion budget hole leaves no other option."

"The Governor had to make a lot of difficult decisions with this budget because we've had a 27-percent drop in revenue," says McClear. "We simply can't afford to pay for all the things we used to pay for. It's difficult, but its necessary."

The protesters are urging the governor and lawmakers to approve a tax on oil production to generate enough revenue to save home care services.

But, McClear says the governor opposes that because it could drive some oil companies out of the state...pushing up the unemployment rate.