Message from Craig King,
ADVOCATES ACHIEVE FUNDING BREAKTHROUGH TO SUSTAIN DISABILITY SERVICES:
We are very pleased to announce that today, February 29, 2016 the California State Legislature passed two linked funding bills: a Developmental Services Funding Bill and a Managed Care Organization Tax Reform Bill. The bills now head to the Governor, where certain approval is expected. The new Developmental Services Funding will provide over $300 million in new State General Funding for Developmental Services in the 2016-2017 State budget year that begins July 1st. Revised Managed Care Organization Tax Reform will draw down over $1.1 Billion in Federal funding annually for three years to help off-set the State’s health and human service program costs.
For more than a year, Greater Opportunities and other organizations rallied thousands of families and supporters to talk to their legislators and advocate for increased funding of disability services. The disability service system has reached a crisis point: Up until now, the State had "frozen" provider rates for over a decade, while the cost of living increased over 37% - thereby forcing many providers to close.
In comparison to growing needs, this funding increase is modest, yielding from 5% to 7.5% in targeted additional funds. However, especially after such a long across-the-board rate freeze, and given the stubborn refusal of the Governor to spend surplus State tax revenues, it's a welcome step in the right direction. This legislation will help preserve the viability of supports that people with developmental disabilities need to live with dignity, safety and independence in the community. Moreover, some funds have been allocated to stimulate development of much-needed new employment services - including paid internships - to help address the high unemployment rates of people with disabilities.
A shout-out to all the supporters who joined in this advocacy campaign: Your efforts really made a difference. Thank you so much!
Craig C. King
900 Lafayette Street, Suite 700
Santa Clara, CA 95050
P.S. If your senator and/or assembly member voted “aye,” please call them now to thank them. Click here to find them. If you talked to someone in their office before, call that person and let them know we don’t just complain, we thank them when they deserve it!