Local Health Departments Concerned About Downturn in Fees

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 28, 2008
Four and a half billion dollars a year in vehicle fees and sales tax fund the majority of local health and social services. A plan in the early 1990s dedicated this money to health care during a budget crisis.  Judith Reigel heads California’s County Health Executives Association. She says less money could put quality of care at risk.

REIGEL: “The fear is if counties actually have to start making reductions in staff because then you see less ability to respond quickly to disease outbreaks and other things.” (:12)

Riegel says preventive and mental health care programs could also be at risk. She says counties have made it through past economic downturns but the current drop in revenue from both sales taxes and vehicle license fees could have a more severe impact.