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Supervisors Say They'll Fight Medical Cuts

August 23, 1989

Faced with large state budget cuts in the county medical services program, an angry San Diego County Board of Supervisors vowed Tuesday to fight the cutbacks in Sacramento and deferred action on funding the program until next month.

The state budget for fiscal year 1990 allocated $30.5 million for the county program that finances health care for the indigent, nearly a 25% reduction from the 1989 total of $41 million.

Supervisor Susan Golding said: "County government has arrived at a point where it almost cannot function."

Supervisor Brian Bilbray, meanwhile, argued that the state budget ax hit San Diego County unfairly hard. The cuts, he said, amount to "a basic rip-off of the taxpayers of this region by the state of California."

Chief Administrative Officer Norman Hickey's staff had recommended that the supervisors make proportional cuts in all medical services rather than eliminate mental health and drug rehabilitation programs. But Supervisor John MacDonald said a premature decision could jeopardize the county's efforts in the current legislative session in Sacramento to restore the funding.

The board cited similar concerns in rejecting Golding's request to transfer $4.2 million from the county's contingency reserve fund to the medical services program.

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