Tonight our recycled Governor Jerry Brown will deliver his State of the State address for California. I like Jerry Brown and I hope he can return this great state to its prior glory. But I need to give Governor Brown a few last minute pointers before the big speech.
Californians understand there will be more cuts. Pundits indicate most people are in favor of those cuts. I suggest, however, that both the pontificating pundits and the plurality of people will not be as adversely effected by the anticipated cuts as the disabled citizens of California.
Governor Brown, we already know: it's a mess. We all hope you can do something to fix it and all Californians know that we will have to tighten our collective belts and do more with less. I just ask you to remember those who are unable to tighten their own belts because of physical, mental or intellectual disabilities.
Those who cannot do for themselves need people to help them. They need services and care and places to live and food to eat. they need access to medical care and doctors who will accept them as patients. Those who cannot do for themselves will feel the cuts so much more profoundly than their fellow Californians. This is true not only because they need the services more, but also because the services are not providing anything more than basic human needs.
Most Californians will pay more in bridge tolls and gasoline tax as they drive themselves to work, but they won't be left behind. They will suffer the closure of State Parks and endure longer lines at the DMV. College students will go further into debt as they prepare for a future that is pushed a little farther back because they cannot get the classes they need. None of these are acceptable, but we understand many are necessary. It is a high price to pay to fix things, but most stand at the ready, prepared to do their part.
The disabled citizens of California will suffer those same issues and so much more. Some will be left homeless or be forced into institutions, others will die for lack of care and services. That price it too high.
I ask, then, Governor Brown, that you consider very strongly the cuts that are terribly inconvenient for everyone and differentiate them from the cuts that can ruin or kill a select group of the citizenry.The disabled are for the most part, unable to turn anywhere else for assistance. They will be the responsibility of the State of California in one form or another. Consider the big picture, what state costs are being saved and what are being increased. Institutional care comes at a very high price and that price will be borne by the State. Protect the basic services that the disabled rely on to survive.