Protect the Care of Californians with Special Needs & Developmental Disabilities!

he Honorable Gavin Newsom, California State Governor
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Please Support The Lanterman Coalition’s Multi-Year Funding Proposal to Close the $1.4 Billion Funding Gap for Services to Californians with Developmental Disabiltiies 

Dear Governor Newsom;

I am a Californian who truly cares about the wellbeing of our fellow citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It’s been more than a decade since the Great Recession significantly impacted the funding for California’s developmental disabilities system. Since 2008, the cumulative budget cuts and inflationary impact to service providers who deliver programs to Californians with developmental disabilities has created a net shortfall of nearly $1.4 billion, as identified in the State’s own Provider Rate Study released in 2019. Year after year, despite public outcry, the state has failed to address the desperately needed funding necessary to stabilize our neglected system of care for California’s most vulnerable citizens.

Governor Newsom, I urge you to join me in supporting a critically needed multi-year rate increase to service providers in the 2020-21 state budget. The proposal set forth by The Lanterman Coalition would begin to stabilize California’s crumbling developmental disabilities system, and maintain vital services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, while a longer-term plan is being developed.  The four main provisions of this funding proposal include:

  1. Rate increase over three year period to close the $1.4 billion funding gap
  2. Emergency funding for Early Intervention, Independent Living Skills, and    Social Recreational programs made retroactive to January 1, 2020
  3. Immediate adjustments for state minimum wage increases
  4. Removal of the funding suspension date of July 1, 2023.

The chronic lack of funding has created a major social justice issue. For example, as a result of the significant underfunding:

  • An estimated 28,000 programs have closed across the state, causing significant waitlists for services.
  • Adults with developmental disabilities living in state-funded group homes are being displaced without their consent, and being forced to move from their communities, their families and friends.
  • The funding shortage means service providers are unable to recruit and retain dedicated and skilled direct care professionals to adequately staff the system.
  • Nearly 35% of direct care professionals are on Medi-Cal, are working at below poverty wages, receiving public food assistance, or working second jobs to earn enough money to provide for themselves and their families. 85% of these workers are women!

Governor Newsom, you have the power to reverse this decade-long history of underfunding the needs of those with developmental disabilities, especially given the healthy California economy and an unprecendented surplus budget.  

By adopting the multi-year funding proposal to close the $1.4 billion funding gap to the disabilties system, you can keep the promise of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act of 1977, and once again lead the nation in the fight for the equal rights and inclusion of those with IDD. When the Lanterman Act was passed, California became the birthplace of the American’s with Disabilities Act movement. We should be proud of our history and make sure we are in compliance with this powerful legislation that defines the service delivery system and safeguards the rights of those we care so much about.

You can protect the care for our fellow Californians with developmental disabilities and ensure they have access to the services they need to live full and productive lives.

Thank you, Governor Newsom!

Sincerely,
Californians who care

#KeepThePromise  #ProtectOurCare  #DisabilityRights #StopTheInjustice #InclusionForAll #AcceptRespectInclude #CABudget

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