The Human Services Council of New York (HSC) has released a report that shows the scope of New York State’s funding cuts to human services in fiscal years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 highlighting the negative impact of those cuts on employment, the state economy, and social programs that many millions of state residents rely on.
According to A Lose-Lose Proposition: The Economic Impact of Lost Human Services in New York State, over the past two years, $800 million in funding has been cut for such vital programs as child care and child welfare, youth and after-school programs, senior services, health programs, employment training and assistance, supportive housing, services for the homeless, and programs for people with disabilities. Not only have the people who rely on these services been harmed, but 27,000 human services sector jobs have been lost. For instance, 13,265 Summer Youth Employment slots that would have helped young people gain valuable experience have been eliminated, along with approximately 1,300 part-time jobs.
Human services programs are an economic engine in New York’s communities, providing nearly 1.25 million jobs and supporting local economies through the purchase of more than a billion dollars in goods and services. Services like child care, after-school programs, and elder programs are also essential job supports, enabling parents and other caregivers to work and keep their jobs.
State-funded human services programs have also suffered from the following over the last two years:
- the deferral of more than $150 million in cost-of-living adjustments for the human services workforce, which results in higher turnover and affects the stability of service delivery;
- an astounding drop of close to 90% in funding for Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) initiatives—from $216 million in 2010 to $25 million by 2012—which includes the loss of many work supports for struggling families;
- $2.7 billion in spending reductions in state Medicaid funding; and
- the shift of critical human services costs of over $160 million from the state to localities that are forced to assume the burden.
Human services matter to everyone, whether it’s the people who need assistance or the local economies that benefit from the employment and business that human service programs generate. Our state cannot afford more service reductions. We need government to continue to look for alternative cost-saving and revenue-generating reforms that will move us toward a balanced budget and prevent further erosion of funds for human services.
To read, “A Lose-Lose Proposition: The Economic Impact of Lost Human Services in New York State,” click here: http://bit.ly/zHjNRt
Contributed by Chris Winward of the Human Services Council