Alameda County’s budget shortfall is either $68 million, a figure slightly lower than last year’s $72 million deficit, or a significantly more worrisome $108 million, the county administration announced Wednesday.
The latter funding gap is a result of Alameda County potentially absorbing $40 million to its next fiscal year budget in order to pay for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) previously under the auspices of the state.
In January, the state Department of Finance announced it would end a five-year experiment to curtail state Medicare costs for in-home care services. IHSS allows some indigent patients to receive health care in their homes and is less expensive than staying in a hospital facility.
The arrangement, though, will pass on $625 million in costs for in-home care services to counties. Alameda County’s share is $40 million, Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi said last week.
In the meantime, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) remains in negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, said a county official. But as of today, the $40 million has been shifted from the state to Alameda County and “is still very much happening.”
Aside from the extra financial burden, Alameda County’s budget shortfall was tempered by a continuing surge in property tax revenues, the county said Wednesday.
And the very biggest problem of all in regard to expenditures is one that has not been widely talked about, in other words that eventually Alameda County government will be sued right and left in regard to the various scams and many ways its big boys and various departments, and including the Public Works Agency, have been ripping off the general public, and with some of those scams having even led to wrongful deaths.
For instance, there is a road in AC that has been given the nickname “Dead Man's Curve,” and which for many years the PWA has been pretending to be interested in fixing, but has refused to fix, and the extremely unsafe conditions on that road has even led to unnecessary deaths.
My theory on Dead Man's Curve is that the PWA won't be seriously interested in repairing it unless someone pays a large under the table bribe to one of the PWA's bigshots.