Assemblymember Holden Pledges to Do More as State Funds for Developmental Disabilities are Budgeted

Assemblyman Chris Holden (D) of Pasadena said recent budget victories for the developmentally disabled represent a big step, “but that there is more to do.”

With passage and signing of the first state budget under Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Holden can point to his leadership in securing what grew to be $400 million for developmentally disabled service providers, as well as to having helped in the fields of speech pathology and music therapy.

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Lawmakers Swayed by Keep the Promise Rallies – You Can Still Take Action to Push for the 8% Funding Increase

Last week saw Keep the Promise rallies to save Lanterman Act services and fund the direct support workforce for Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) throughout the state. The Sacramento rally on Wednesday, April 3 was a rousing success with crowds estimated between 1,500 – 2,000. Several rallies took place on Friday, April 5th which we will cover in next week’s Monday Morning Memo. These rallies play a key role in convincing lawmakers and the public to support the I/DD community.

Members of the press covered the Capitol rally, helping spread our message to the broader community. You can watch local NBC affiliate KCRA coverage on YouTube.

The following legislators came out to the Capitol steps to sign their names to the budget request letter, pledging their support for an 8% increase in funding to Lanterman Act services and supports for people with I/DD.

  • Senate Request Author: Senator Henry Stern, District 27
  • Senator Andreas Borgeas, District 8
  • Senator Shannon Grove, District 16
  • Senator Mike Morrell, District 23
  • Senator Jeff Stone, District 28
  • Senator John Moorlach, District 37
  • Assembly Request Co-Author: Assemblymember Jim Frazier, District 11
  • Assembly Request Co-Author: Assemblymember Chris Holden, District 41
  • Assemblymember Brian Dahle, District 1
  • Assemblymember Heath Flora, District 12
  • Assemblymember Devon Mathis, District 26
  • Assemblymember Tom Lackey, District 36
  • Assemblymember Christy Smith, District 38
  • Assemblymember Marie Waldron, District 75

The rallies, media attention, and legislators who support the 8% budget request represent a good start. However, we would like to see the signatures of every Senator and Assemblymember added to the budget request letter. There is still time for you to take action. Visit thelantermancoalition.org and click the “Take Action” button to write to your state representatives telling them why they must sign on to the letter and #KeepThePromise to Californians with I/DD.

Workforce and Program Funding Crisis Gets Attention in the Mainstream Media

Hopefully, you have already seen last week’s San Francisco Chronicle story that brought much-needed attention to the shrinking and closing of programs that people with I/DD rely on in the Bay Area. The article did a fantastic job of bringing the economic realities that we, as advocates, take for granted to the general readership who may have little to no prior knowledge of the system that people with I/DD depend on for their day to day existence.

The article highlights:

  • Funding is not keeping up with the rising costs of doing business
  • Service providers cannot pay competitive wages which has led to high turnover and job vacancies
  • The population of people who need services is growing while programs that provide services are closing due to lack of funding
  • The advocacy work that is being done this year to ensure an 8% rate increase.

Mainstream media has long overlooked the stories and realities faced by people with disabilities and the people who care for us. Therefore, many people are understandably uninformed, and in turn, do not show up to support the efforts of the disability community. The writing and sharing of articles like this play a crucial role in our efforts to ensure that California’s lawmakers live up to the promise made to Californians with I/DD by the Lanterman Act.

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY DISCUSSES CRITICAL ISSUES IMPACTING PEOPLE WITH I/DD

Last Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health & Human Services held a hearing to discuss several issues impacting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) throughout the state. Members of the committee listened to more than six hours of testimony by the Governor’s administration, the Legislature, and from the public on proposals that will have both immediate and long-lasting impacts to the I/DD community. You can view the hearing in its entirety here. Topics discussed include:

The provide rate study and emergency 8% funding increase for Lanterman Act services and supports (starting at 1:05:00 on the video)
Local minimum wage increases and the impact on service providers (starting at 3:07:15)
Safety net services for people in crisis (starting at 3:18:00)
14 day uniform holiday schedule, social recreation and camp services, an 1/2 day billing (starting at 4:42:00)
Racial disparities in I/DD services (starting at 5:21:00)

The full agenda of topics can be found here.

The next legislative hearing will be by the State Senate on May 2.

#KeepThePromise

1. The Rally:

Join us in Sacramento on April 3, 2019, for the #KeepThePromise Capitol rally to save Lanterman Act services & fund the direct support workforce for Californian’s with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

More than 330,000 Californians with I/DD live in our state – they are our neighbors, classmates, coworkers, family, and friends – however, their support structure has been grossly underfunded and is failing. Direct support staff are quitting the field or working multiple jobs due to low wages, essential programs are closing throughout the state, and individuals are forced to live with inadequate supports or with no support at all.

California’s lawmakers must fund the services and supports people with I/DD rely on to access their civil rights. An 8% increase will provide emergency stabilization which our community desperately needs.

For the full schedule of rally events, visit theLantermanCoalition.org/rally or download our shareable flyer.

2. Engage Your Legislators:

3. Share:

Visit thelantermancoalition.org’s social media tool kit and share any of our premade social media posts to let your network know that California’s lawmakers must #KeepThePromise to the I/DD community.

4. Stay Involved – #KeepThePromise on Twitter:

Twitter is a social media tool which allows us to communicate directly with each other and our lawmakers.

  • If you aren’t already on Twitter visit our social media toolkit to learn how to sign up, and how to use your account for online advocacy
  • Follow The Lanterman Coalition’s Twitter account
  • when you tweet about the budget remember to use #KeepThePromise so that other budget advocates can find you and share your tweet

THIS WEEK: Assembly Budget Hearing on Developmental Disabilities

This Wednesday the Assembly budget hearing on developmental disabilities will take place. Several key issues will be discussed including:
Provider Rate Study and Associated Investment Proposals; Proposals to Restore Reductions Made in Prior Budgets: Uniform Holiday Schedule, Half-Day Billing, and Social Recreation and Camp; and many others

Wednesday March 6 Assembly Budget Hearing on Developmental Disabilities 2:30 - 6:30 PM State Capitol Room 437This Wednesday the Assembly budget hearing on developmental disabilities will take place. Several key issues will be discussed including:

  • Provider Rate Study and Associated Investment Proposals;
  • Proposals to Restore Reductions Made in Prior Budgets: Uniform Holiday Schedule, Half-Day Billing, and Social Recreation and Camp;
  • and many others

The hearing will take place between 2:30 PM – 6:30 PM in room 437. The hearing is open to the public so please come and show your support for the I/DD community.

The full agenda can be viewed here.

To learn more about ongoing budget advocacy efforts in California’s I/DD community – including a schedule of upcoming events – visit: www.thelantermancoalition.org