News on Human Services Programs, Legislation & the People We Serve – April 28, 2017

Media memo

In this edition of the CWDA Media Memo: after sending strong signals early in the week they would move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republican leaders again delayed a vote planned for Thursday. The Los Angeles Times offers a look at the history of the In-Home Supportive Services Program and why it’s so often at the heart of state budget debates and discussion. A new analysis from HUD finds even six-figure salaries put some families at the “low income” mark and shut out of the housing market. California’s immigrant families are working closely with community agencies to put plans in place and ensure children whose parents are deported are cared for by family or friends. And finally, those who have worked with homeless youth for years and advocates fighting human trafficking are understanding they must work together to end both epidemics. 

Health Care

House delays Obamacare vote, denying Trump 100-day win | Politico | April 27, 2017

House Republican leaders on Thursday delayed a vote on their Obamacare repeal bill until next week at the earliest, denying President Donald Trump a major legislative victory during his first 100 days in office. Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants decided during a late-night huddle in the Capitol that they still do not have the votes to pass the stalled health-care legislation. At least 15 House Republicans remain solidly opposed to the bill, with 20 more leaning no or still undecided, according to GOP lawmakers and aides.

Plan to give health care to every Californian moves forward | Associated Press | April 26, 2017

California lawmakers pushed forward Wednesday with a proposal that would substantially remake the health care system of the nation’s most populous state by replacing insurance companies with government-funded health care for everyone. The idea known as single-payer health care has long been popular on the left and is getting a new look in California as President Donald Trump looks to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Advocates fear GOP healthcare bill would limit services to immigrants | Bakersfield Californian | April 21, 2017

Lily, a 7-year-old Mexican national, couldn’t get care in her country. Born with a tumor on her face, surgeons wouldn’t operate because it wasn’t cancerous, her mother, Katrina said through a translator. She wouldn’t provide her last name for fear of deportation. When the family began struggling financially, they fled Mexico for California and the promise of affordable healthcare.  When they arrived, Katrina was able to sign Lily up for Medi-Cal through SB 75, a California law that guarantees children younger than 19 medical care regardless of immigration status. Roughly 5,200 people were signed up under the program in Kern County as of March 2017, according to the state Department of Health Care Services. After Lily got Medi-Cal, she was able to get her operation, Katrina said through tears Friday at a forum in Bakersfield on the impacts repealing the Affordable Care Act could have on ethnic communities throughout the region.

State Budget

An in-home care program for California’s elderly and disabled is constantly at the heart of budget battles. Here’s why | Los Angeles Times | April 18, 2017

California’s program to provide in-home care for its low-income elderly and disabled residents finds itself once again at the heart of a state budget standoff. It is familiar territory for the workers, advocates and administrators of the In-Home Supportive Services program. The current flare-up — between the state and county governments over how to divvy up IHSS costs — is the latest example of how California’s signature program, meant to keep people in their communities and out of nursing homes, has continually been the source of budget friction in recent years.

Housing & Homelessness

In costly Bay Area, even six-figure salaries are considered ‘low income’  | Mercury News | April 24, 2017

In the high-priced Bay Area, even some households that bring in six figures a year can now be considered “low income.” That’s according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which recently released its 2017 income limits — a threshold that determines who can qualify for affordable and subsidized housing programs such as Section 8 vouchers. San Francisco and San Mateo counties have the highest limits in the Bay Area — and among the highest such numbers in the country. A family of four with an income of $105,350 per year is considered “low income.”  A $65,800 annual income is considered “very low” for a family the same size, and $39,500 is “extremely low.” The median income for those areas is $115,300.

Blueprint for Bay Area aims to ‘change the dynamics’ of housing crisis | San Francisco Chronicle | April 15, 2017

The only way for the Bay Area to become a relatively affordable place to live again is for cities and counties to be more tolerant of different types of housing, according to the draft of a new regional plan. This could include a requirement that at least 10 percent of new units across the region be affordable and requiring fewer parking spaces in new housing complexes. Some cities might need to increase the amount of housing allowed in areas with ample transit.


Deportation’s orphans: Who cares for children when parents are sent away? | CalMATTERS | April 19, 2017 

As immigration enforcement ramps up, so rises the fear of undocumented parents about the fate of their children if they are separated by deportation and returned to their native country. Will the children stay in the United States? Who will care for them? Will someone transport the children to the parents wherever they are? Will U.S. authorities place them in foster care? And if so, will the parents be able to reclaim custody? “It is the worst-case scenario for families,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. “It’s a horrible feeling, a horrible place to be to have to decide between the bonds that unite a family versus the future of those same loved ones.

1 in 8 children in California schools have an undocumented parent | EdSource | April 23, 2017

Posing significant challenges for educators, about 1 in 8 students in California schools has at least one parent who is undocumented, according to a new brief from the Education Trust-West. Undocumented children as well as U.S. citizen children with undocumented relatives have experienced heightened anxieties for several years as a result of deportation policies begun under President George W. Bush and tightened ones under President Barack Obama.

Child Care

See how much child care costs in each California county | Sacramento Bee | April 18, 2017

These days, infant child care in California can cost as much as a mortgage. The average monthly cost to put an infant in a California day care center full time in 2014 was about $1,110 a month, according to the latest data from the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. That’s up from $940 a month in 2009, a 7 percent rise after adjusting for inflation. The median income of California families with children is about $64,000. That means more than 20 percent of a typical family’s income would go to child care if they put their newborn in a day care center.

Human Trafficking

Juvenile human trafficking court launching in Fresno County | The Business Journal | April 24, 2017

Cases of human trafficking involving minors are a growing occurrence in Fresno County courtrooms, so much so that the county court system is working to launch a juvenile human trafficking court. “The court is needed to serve a growing number of youth trafficked throughout Fresno County,” states a press release issued today by the Fresno County Superior Court, which will use a three-year $383,651 grant from Judicial Council of California to initiate and fund the court.

Homeless Youth at High Risk of Human Trafficking | New York Times | April 17, 2017

For decades, one set of activists and legislators have fought to end human trafficking, while a different set have worked tirelessly to try to end homelessness. Activists and legislators have rarely teamed up to fight the two issues simultaneously. Now a new study suggests that the key to ending trafficking of young people is to eradicate youth homelessness first. “The vulnerability children experience when they are alone, hungry and without shelter on the streets makes them particularly susceptible to trafficking,” said Kevin Ryan, president and chief executive of Covenant House, a shelter for homeless teenagers and young adults across the country.

California lawmakers say there’s more to do to combat human trafficking | Union-Tribune | April 15, 2017

A local lawyer mentioned to me in an interview roughly a decade ago that street gangs that once trafficked primarily in drugs had found a new “product” to push. She used a quote that can’t be repeated in full here, but it has stuck in my memory. In essence, she said that although gangs were still dealing drugs all over San Diego County, many had found pimping young women and girls to be more lucrative. But she put it more bluntly: “(Prostitution) is the new crack.”

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