This material has been posted with permission and on behalf of the Association of Regional Center Agencies.
Assembly Budget Hearing
Wednesday, March 7th
2:30pm in State Capitol Room 437
The annual Budget cycle’s underway, and our first chance for public advocacy is just days away! The Assembly’s “Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services” (sometimes called just “Sub 1”) is the first stop for the Legislature to review Governor Brown’s proposals, and to consider new ones. There are some major issues facing our system, and we need you to join us in Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon!
What are we asking for?
While ARCA’s formal Budget position has a number of important points, our community faces four key issues. We need to support Assemblymember Holden’s Budget request, reject the “Uniform Holiday Schedule,” restore social recreation and camp, and ensure that the developmental center closures leads to greater investment in affordable housing.
1. Asm. Holden’s request
We support his push to provide $25 million in one-time bridge funding to help sustain good providers suffering under bad rates and unavoidable cost pressuresthat are uncompensated by the state. Stabilizing programs respects the choices of people served, saves the jobs of direct service professionals, and will help keep our system afloat until the “rate study” comes out in March 2019.
2. Uniform Furlough Schedule
After years of fighting, we’re again facing 14 unpaid so-called “holidays.” There’s no good reason why service providers (unlike everyone else in the state) should be facing furloughs. And the most immediate impact is on families and people served – disabilities don’t take days off, so cutting off services directly hurts them. It’s a terrible idea, doubly so when California’s economy is doing well. That’s why we want the Legislature to reject the Uniform Holiday Schedule.
3. Restore My Services!
In 2009, the Legislature suspended various services. It took a big push from people like you for them to lift the cap on respite hours. Now it’s time to restore social recreation and camp. Doing so will increase community access, and support families, particularly those whose only service preference were these options. You can learn more at www.restoremyservices.net.
4. Build affordable housing
For generations, developmental centers were the only housing option the state provided for people with developmental disabilities. With centers closing, we have an opportunity to help create affordable community housing. As one housing option goes away, it’s time to think about how to better support future generations in integrated community settings of their choosing.
We hope you can join us at this hearing on Wednesday, March 7th, at 2:30pm (State Capitol room 437) to share your story! If you do, take note of this:
1) Pick something that matters to you.
You are welcome to speak about any one of the four points above. Be sure it’s something you know about, either facts & figures, or personal experience.
2) Keep it brief!
We expect public comment to be limited, with no more than two minutes per person – at most! Be respectful of the Committee’s time. They are working to help make things better for us, but we need to make sure they understand the issues, and why they matter.
3) Build your own story.
Your testimony can be simple or detailed, but it should always be your own.
- It could be as simple as “My name is Daniel. I live in Sacramento, and I support Assemblymember Holden’s request to provide $25 million in one-time bridge funding for service providers.”
- If you’ve experienced a furlough, you can describe how those holiday closures impact you directly.
- You could say how hard it is to find affordable housing.
And you could even talk about your experience of social recreation and camp!
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