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California Home Healthcare Workers Get Budget Win

Capital Public Radio

People protest proposed changes to the IHSS program

Capital Public Radio

Home healthcare workers in California are celebrating a budget win. A plan to cap the hours for which they can be paid has been rejected.

As part of his budget proposal, Governor Jerry Brown wanted to limit In Home Supportive Service workers to 40 hours a week. New federal regulations require IHSS employees to be paid overtime, which Brown’s administration said could cost hundreds of millions of dollars over several years.

But legislative Democrats are rejecting Brown’s proposal, instead allocating additional money to cover the overtime costs.

IHSS worker Judy Lee cares full time for her teenage son, who has cerebral palsy. She says Brown’s plan to cap hours and provide temporary workers to fill-in the gaps didn’t address the realities of in-home care.

“A lot of trust and love goes into care giving. So it’s not just a matter of filling hours.”

Lee is paid for 283 hours a month at a rate of about $10 an hour.

Over 400 thousand Californians receive care through IHSS services. The governor’s administration says it’s one of the fastest growing programs in the state.

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