Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) co-signed the following letter from Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget committees, urging more funding for developmental services be included in the 2016-2017 budget:
In 1977, California made a promise to serve and assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Lanterman Act). In fulfilling this promise, the state’s regional centers now serve over 300,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
California’s regional centers provide extremely valuable tools and assists individuals with work, giving them the ability to thrive and live independently in their communities. Unfortunately, for decades the state’s regional center system has undergone extensive budget cuts which have resulted in the reduction of vital services and more significantly – forcing the closure of programs and centers. Exacerbating the situation, regional center costs have grown by 24% as staff to worker ratios have increased and a freeze on provider rates since 2013.
Although the 2016-17 proposed budget acknowledges the need to adequately fund regional centers, the proposal provides no financial relief. These centers and the communities they serve need our help.
It is time to keep our promise to the thousands of individuals and their families who without this vital funding would lose the independence, pride and self-reliance they deserve. Therefore, we urge you to support a 10% increase in the regional center operations and purchase of services budgets to adequately fund these critically needed centers and the services they provide.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
The letter was signed by 42 California legislators. For a copy of the signed bipartisan letter, click here.