In an effort to keep our stakeholders informed about the state of California budget, and how the budget will impact funding, as well as programs and services, we post news on “Budget Watch”. This page features updates from the Governor and Legislature, links to important news articles and various budget and advocacy related web sites, as well as important information about how you can get involved to make a difference. Visit this page regularly to keep current on budget issues.
Budget Crisis Action Alert from Tri-Counties Regional Center
Developmental Services is facing its most serious threat in a very long time. Governor Brown’s budget proposal to cut developmental services by $750 million is too big and could hurt may persons with developmental disabilities and their families.
Following are links to important budget-related news and web sites, as well as a summary of proposed 2011-12 budget changes, and current fiscal year reductions and changes that will continue in the 2011-12 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011.
Important Web Sites
Legislative Analyst’s Office Budget Overview for Developmental Services: “Major Reductions in Regional Center (RC) Programs.”
The governor’s budget plan proposes to achieve $750 million in General Fund savings in DDS. About $125 million of the savings will come from alternative funding sources, such as the continuation of $50 million in funding from Proposition 10 and three separate proposals to draw down a combined total of $75 million in federal funds. Another $92 million in savings would come from the continuation of a 4.25 percent reduction to regional center operations and provider payments. The remaining $533 million in savings would be achieved by a proposal described as increasing the accountability and transparency for the use of state funds for the administrative expenditures of regional center and service providers and through the implementation of statewide service standards. The statewide standards would set guidelines to promote consistency in the array of services provided by regional centers and would be developed with input from stakeholders.”
Summary of Proposed Changes to Developmental Services in Governor’s 2011-12 Budget
- Continue temporary regional center and service provider payment reductions of 4.25 percent.
- Continue Proposition 10 funding of $50 million for birth to 5 services.
- Increase accountability and transparency – “set parameters on use of state funds for administrative expenditures of regional centers and service providers, increase auditing requirements, increase disclosure requirements, and maximize recoveries from responsible parties.”
- Increase federal funds – by “expanding the pending 1915(i) State Plan amendment to include additional [clients] and related expenditures consistent with federal health care reform, maximizing ‘Money Follows the Person’ funding for individuals placed out of institutions, and pursuing other enhanced federal funding opportunities.”
- Implement statewide service standards – “set parameters and promote consistence in the array of services available through the regional centers….DDS will consider eligibility for the service, duration, frequency and efficacy of the service, qualification of service providers, service rates, and parental and [client] responsibilities.”
2010-11 Budget Act
Regional Centers and our service providers have received a total payment reduction of 4.25 percent, effective July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The Department of Developmental Services has provided specific instructions to the regional centers for implementing the payment reductions to service providers.
Other changes included in the Budget Act include:
- The Welfare and Institutions Code has been changed to allow planned closure of Lanterman Developmental Center to proceed.
- In Home Supportive Services will have a 3.6 percent reduction to service hours for IHSS recipients – “commencing 90 days after the enactment (10/08/10) of the bill through the 2011-12 fiscal year, after which the recipient’s authorized service hours would be restored as specified.”
- $133 million in funding of “AB3632” funding of mental health services for children in special education has been eliminated, effectively suspending that program.
Budget Act requirements made in the 2009-10 fiscal year that are carrying over into the current budget include changes to the Uniform Holiday schedule, respite services, transportation services, and Early Start eligibility and services; suspension of funding for services such as camp and social recreation services; prohibition of funding for services considered experimental in nature; prohibition of funding for services provided by public agencies such as Medi-Cal, IHSS, public schools, CCS, etc.
DDS Process for Identifying Statewide Service Standards
The process DDS will be using to develop proposed statewide service standards will be outlined in draft budget related legislative language, referred to as "Trailer Bill" language due to be released soon. DDS has indicated they will involve stakeholders in helping to develop the draft statewide standards in the following general ways:
- Online Survey - DDS will soon release an on-line survey on their website (www.dds.ca.gov) referred to as a "Survey Monkey" that will be anonymous and open to everyone to provide input about the content of the Statewide Service Standards. The Survey will be divided into major categories of programs under the Purchase of Services budget and within those categories there will be questions that respondents can choose to answer.
- Workgroups - Using the input from the on-line survey, DDS will convene 8 workgroups consisting of about 30-35 people per workgroup to develop ideas and recommendations for draft Statewide Services Standards.
- Public Forums - DDS will hold a series of public forums to receive public comment on the draft Statewide Service Standards.
- Legislative Hearings - The Legislature will likely hold key hearings on the proposed Statewide Service Standards.
How Can You Get Involved?
- Stay informed by checking this page and subscribing to the CDCAN email list for regular updates.
- Write, email, call or visit your legislator and tell them that the cuts are too big and share with them in your own words how the proposed cuts will directly hurt you and your family. Click here for a list of legislators in the TCRC area. You may use ARCA’s Phased Action Response Plan and How Community Members Can Help to help you with your advocacy.
- Complete the upcoming online DDS survey to share your ideas about the proposed Statewide Service Standards. Check the DDS web site for the coming survey.
- Attend and provide input at the upcoming DDS public forums on Statewide Service Standards. Dates and locations will be posted on the TCRC website once available.
- Attend upcoming legislative hearings to testify.
Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
9:30 a.m, February 3, 2010, Room 4202, State Capitol, Sacramento
Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
9:30 a.m., February 10, 2010, Room 4203, State Capitol, Sacramento