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Legislative Analyst's Office issues Report and Recommendations

Legislative Analyst's Office Report: 2011-12 Budget: Options to Achieve Savings in the Regional Center System

The Legislative Analyst's Office, a non-partisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor for the California legislature, has issued a report providing recommendations regarding funding for the regional center service system.

"These changes, we would acknowledge, represent a significant departure from the policies originally adopted in the Lanterman Act. However, either of the approaches that we suggest would help ensure the long–term sustainability of the program for those consumers with the greatest financial need for its services."

The report can be found online at the LAO website.

The Legislative Analyst's Office has provided these recommendations:

"Adopt Specific Savings Measures. We recommend approval of the Governor’s budget proposal to extend the 4.25 percent provider payment reduction and the commensurate reduction to RC operations. Given the state’s severe fiscal problems, we believe continuing these cost–saving measures is reasonable and achievable. We also recommend approval of the Governor’s proposals to obtain additional federal funds for services provided through the DCs and the RCs."

"Await Details on Unallocated Reductions. We withhold recommendation at this time on the administration’s proposal to achieve $533 million in General Fund savings until the department provides more specific information to the Legislature as to how these savings would be achieved. We recommend that the department provide the Legislature with specific standards for statewide services, estimated dollar reductions for each service standard, a timeframe for implementation, and proposed implementing language."

"Implement Additional Savings Option. Given the rapid growth in the cost of the RC program, we recommend the Legislature either expand the existing FCPP or implement means testing to determine who is eligible to receive these state services. These changes, we would acknowledge, represent a significant departure from the policies originally adopted in the Lanterman Act. However, either of the approaches that we suggest would help ensure the long–term sustainability of the program for those consumers with the greatest financial need for its services."

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