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Fri Jul 17 2009 (Updated 07/20/09) People with Disabilities Arrested While Protesting State Budget Cuts in SF
People with Disabilities Arrested While Protesting State Budget Cuts The stalemate in legislative discussions over California's budget crisis continued this week with a prominent issue being California's Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal to suspend a constitutional amendment that sets a minimum level of funding for schools. On July 15th the CTA and the CFT, California's two teachers organizations, joined advocates for seniors and people with disabilities in front of the State Building in San Francisco, where the governor maintains an office, to protest proposed cuts to budgets for human services. The demonstration, organized by the San Francisco Labor Council, brought attention to the serious nature of proposed cuts and how they would affect populations including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

The governor and legislators have rejected calls for new taxes on oil or tobacco. Without increased revenues funding for schools and vulnerable populations are on the chopping block. Proposition 98, the law that guarantees public schools roughly 40% of general fund revenue, is in danger of being suspended and Schwarzenegger has been particularly critical of state assisted In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) that provides much-needed care for seniors and people with disabilities. On June 23rd, seventeen people from the coalition "The People's Day of Reckoning", many in wheelchairs, were arrested and charged with blocking traffic when they protested in San Francisco in front of the State Building.

This week a federal judge ruled that the state must pay IHSS workers their existing wages and not reduce their pay by the $2.00 an hour, in a move the the governor and legislators approved in February. The governor continues to attack the In-Home Health Support Services, saying that it is "rife with fraud", in his attempts to rescue the state budget even though IHSS is a cost-saving alternative to out-of-home care.

Read more | video Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 photo Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | photo Audio: Arrests of Disability Activists Outside Schwarzenegger's Home in L.A.

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