Proposed California budget includes big cut for developmental services

24 Jan

In Governor Brown Proposes Massive Cuts to Social Safety Net, Marty Omoto of the California Disability Community Action Network writes:

$750 Million Reduction For Developmental Services

The Governor’s proposal for a $750 million reduction in state general fund spending for developmental services includes the 21 non-profit regional centers.

The bulk of that cut will most likely come from the 21 non-profit regional centers who coordinate community-based services and supports to over 240,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. The regional centers contracted under the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) also coordinate the state’s early intervention program – called Early Start – that serves over 25,000 infants.

The proposed $750 million reduction does not include any lost federal matching funds which would like push the total reduction in spending in developmental services to close to $1 billion (all funds). This reduction is on top of 2009’s permanent and on-going $500 million reduction (including federal funds lost) in developmental services (the bulk of it impacting regional center funded services).

The $750 million reduction in State general fund spending proposed by the Governor would include the continuation for at least another year of the existing 4.25% reduction in payments to most regional center providers and to regional center operations which was scheduled to end as of June 30, 2011. That reduction would, under the Governor’s proposal, continue at least through June 30, 2012 – though the savings or reduction amount actually is permanent.

The reduction also would be achieved through several unspecified measures, including imposing new accountability and transparency measures; and implementation of a statewide purchase of services standards – first attempted in 2002 by Governor Gray Davis.

Many readers here will know of the Regional Centers as the source of data used by many to track autism “rates” over time. The Regional Centers (RC) are California’s method of administering support services to developmentally disabled residents. Each RC covers a large territory and is responsible for purchasing services from private vendors. This method would be in place of a system where the state employs the administrators and the service providers directly.

That said, the recent budget proposal includes $750,000,000 in cuts for services for the developmentally disabled. This will incur an estimated $250M in lost matching funds and is in addition to previous cuts already enacted.

Take the numbers and do the math, using just the $750M amount as a start. Use 265,000 people served by the CDDS. That’s about $2,800 per person. These are not small cuts.

And there is no end in site to the economic woes of the State.

7 Responses to “Proposed California budget includes big cut for developmental services”

  1. Catherina January 24, 2011 at 10:48 #

    so we are going to see (the recorded/reported) autism incidence take a steep plunge in California then? We need to remember this when the anti-vaccine advocates start to correlate that to some vaccine ingredient…

  2. Joeymom January 24, 2011 at 14:01 #

    People need to start separating out wants and needs in their budgets. What do people need to survive? Do people not understand that these services enabled these citizens to survive? That these are NEEDED services, not WANTED services? Who in the private sector has decided to step up to the plate to make sure their communities survive?

  3. Joseph January 24, 2011 at 15:06 #

    Wait a minute. Isn’t autism supposed to cause budget increases for developmental services?

  4. livsparents January 25, 2011 at 00:18 #

    My brainf@rt for today: Maybe it would be better to have the Nazis in charge. At least they were upfront with their intent to exterminate the disabled…

  5. stanley seigler January 25, 2011 at 22:33 #

    [Joeymom say] Do people not understand that these services enabled these citizens to survive?

    they are oblivious to all except hypocritical compassion…

    the following is most personal and close to my heart/soul. It is an appeal from the agency (JNCS) that supports my spoiled only child, an autistic daughter (needs 24/7, 1:1)…it is unimaginable what it would do to her without this support…would have to consider taking her with me…

    the following say, “there is simply nothing left to take away! Jay Nolan [provider agency] is being left to sort out how long we can continue to spend money we don*t have to meet California*s legal and ethical obligations.”

    a relatively minor tax increase with a sunset/time limit clause would solve the CA budget issue…sad all the suffering they would rather inflict on the least.

    stanley seigler

    The Following:

    An open letter to those people who are involved with the provision of services on a daily basis to people with autism and other developmental disabilities:

    WE ARE AT A CRISIS POINT!

    The purpose of this letter is to urge everyone to recognize the depth of the crisis we now face in California. We all need to become actively engaged in defending services which people with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families depend upon.

    It is critical to realize that nearly all direct services and supports provided in California are delivered by local; community based nonprofit organizations. These services are not provided by the State of California or by Regional Centers. In many cases these nonprofit organizations were founded by parents and other local community members who accepted their role in creating alternatives to the State operated institutions that characterized California*s public policy toward the developmentally disabled as recently as 1970. JNCS is but one example of a local community based non-profit founded by families and community members!

    In 1970 California began to convert the vast majority of its publicly funded service delivery system to a model based primarily upon contracting with local nonprofit organizations. By contracting with local nonprofit organizations rather than building and operating public – run programs, the State of California has saved billions of tax dollars over the last 40 years while providing extraordinary services to its citizens with autism and other developmental disabilities.

    But, because California did not establish a system for routinely assessing and adjusting its funding for these local organizations our rates have fallen further and further below the actual costs of providing the direct services that people need. As a result, local nonprofits have worked as hard as possible to raise additional funds to supplement State payments and have stretched their operations as thin as possible to survive.

    But, as the recent UCLA study concludes, the nonprofit community as a whole is now *on the ropes* with little reason for hope. Nonprofits have been hurt badly by the recession. Private fundraising has suffered and, unlike the financial and manufacturing sectors, the public response has been cuts in funding rather than *bailouts*.

    Click to access UCLA_civilsociety_2010_report.pdf

    The proposed $750,000,000 cut in California*s funding for the developmental disabilities community on top of the previous years of cuts and freezes will lead to the collapse of the nonprofit organizations the State relies upon to deliver services.

    There is simply nothing left to cut! Our organization is made up of large numbers of *low wage direct service staff* supervised by a small group of managers who also work for much less than their public or private sector counterparts.

    Given the undeniable needs of people with autism and other developmental disabilities served by these organizations, there is simply nothing left to take away! Jay Nolan is being left to sort out how long we can continue to spend money we don*t have to meet California*s legal and ethical obligations. If, as and when we fail, who will take our place? Will California step back in and create a new system of residential and day service direct care? Where would those resources come from? Is a costly and bureaucratic State system what we hope for? I believe the answer is a resounding NO!

    To repeat, the purpose of this letter is to forewarn everyone who cares about the current and future welfare of people with autism and other developmental disabilities of the danger that awaits us. If we permit the collapse of Jay Nolan Community Services and other nonprofit organizations, we will have lost everything. Consumers, family members, friends, policy makers the organizations that you depend upon now depend upon YOU! We need you to stand up and help!

    You can help by contacting your elected official. You can help by donating to Jay Nolan. You can help by volunteering. You can help by contacting your friends, family and business associates to call their elected officials and tell them how much you need services for your son, daughter, loved one, or whomever and how much JNCS has helped your family.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey L. Strully
    Executive Director
    Jay Nolan Community Services

  6. autieadvocate January 30, 2011 at 21:15 #

    Here we go again. More lies. More “Forced to consider cuts” slogans, as if poor government officials, backs against the wall, have no choice. Oh, but they do. And like hardened bullies, they target the weak. After all, not many wheelchair- using-oxygen tank-toting 90-year olds, are known to overturn cars and torch a neighborhood. Nor do most non-verbal autistics, throw rocks at government buildings, to voice their anger. So, slash funds for Adult Day Care Centers, serving behaviorally challenged—advice the appointed anointed, as they sip costly coffee, around custom, dark cherry stained, hand rubbed oil finished conference tables. Partially funded by tear stained citizens they now want to rub out. No worries. “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.” Proverbs 22:16. So live it up ladies and gents who casually cut funds to elderly, poor and disabled citizens, because partying on the pennies of the poor won’t last forever. Cut. Cut. Cut away. Off you go to another 5 star getaway. Close your eyes now. Don’t think about the autistic adult having another seizure while his 65 year mom holds his hand. Or the once brilliant asperger physician who was struck by a train and needs help changing his diapers. And never ever think about those poor families. Fathers and mothers. Daughters and sons. Firefighters. Police officers. Marines. Teachers. Yes, they are up, crack of dawn, sometimes all night, running this rat race, to care for aging, sick or severely disabled relatives. But don’t think about now you important, important people who have your slush funds and secret agendas. Oh no, don’t think about those things, because it’s too “painful” just like it must be when you tell the public about these “painful cuts.” Cut. Cut. Cut away, for as you do, you cut your heart out with each slashing. “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” Proverbs 28:27. Good luck with that

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