We dedicate this site to the many family members that came before us and blazed the trail that led to California’s Lanterman Act – the best and most comprehensive legislation for people with developmental disabilities ever enacted.
“A Beautiful Sunset” Will Help Keep Vital Community Services from Collapsing.
One of the many ways our entitlement can be “chipped away” is by reducing the rates paid by the state to providers of services to our family members. The cuts of the last several years have been extremely difficult for agencies providing these services, especially coming after years of flat (frozen) funding and other cuts, while costs to provide those services continue to climb.
KTLP’s iDOC report, In Danger of Collapse, documented the difficulties experienced by providers of day services for individuals of all ages and in all settings. Our survey showed that 10% of these agencies are within a year of closing their doors entirely if present trends continue, and another 33% will be forced to consolidate or close one or more services.
We have joined with other advocates of our service system to make the “sunsetting” (or ending) of the 4.25% reduction in rates that has been imposed by the state a high priority for this legislative season.
Ending the Rate Reduction for Community Services is Already in Law
We know this goal is possible because the legislature has already placed this “sunset” provision in law. The law currently states that the 4.25% reduction will end on June 30 of this year. However, in previous years, the legislature has chosen to continue the cuts in this portion of the Department of Developmental Services budget. This reduction has already been “extended” by the Legislature three different times. We, along with most advocacy groups, including a group representing the regional centers, are calling for reductions to be made in different ways and further away from direct services. This time the sunset must be allowed to happen.
A Visual Image of our Legislative Goal Can Help
We wanted to find a way to do our part so we commissioned the Southside Art Center, a Sacramento day service for individuals with intellectual disabilities, to develop a visual image that would be right for a campaign button illustrating this goal. Artist Sal Perez came up with a winning design and it is one we hope all advocates, including self-advocates, who walk the halls of the Capitol, visit their local legislators at home, and interact with others at work, will wear conspicuously as a constant reminder that this will be “a beautiful sunset.” We will be thanking Mr. Perez soon for his winning design.
A Leader Shows His Badge of Courage
Above is our artist’s design and below is a picture of Senator DeSaulnier of the 7th District in the East Bay, Chairperson of the Senate Budget Subcommittee # 3 smiling and chatting with Kaira, Audra and Nicole from Futures Explored, and wearing our campaign button.
We are selling the buttons online for $1.00 each in lots of 100 or more, and individually (for $1.00) at our free KTLP IPP presentations that continue wherever we find an audience. We hope to raise enough revenue to defray a few of the expenses associated with this advocacy effort. A link to an order form for those wishing to order 100 buttons or more is below.
The sun may not be shining today but we are looking forward to “a beautiful sunset” in the months ahead.