Navigating Concerns: Analyzing the FY 2024/2025 California Budget’s Impact on the I/DD Community and Regional Center System of Care

Dr. CJ Cook, DBABlog

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The unveiling of any state’s budget is a significant event, reflecting priorities, allocations, and anticipated challenges for the coming fiscal year. For the intellectually and developmentally disabled (I/DD) Community in California, the release of the FY 2024/2025 budget brings a mix of anticipation and concern. This crucial financial blueprint not only shapes the landscape for various sectors but also profoundly influences the quality of life and support systems for individuals with disabilities and their families.

In recent years, the I/DD community has faced numerous challenges, ranging from access to quality healthcare and education to employment opportunities and housing. The Regional Center System of Care, which serves as a cornerstone for providing tailored services and support, has been pivotal in addressing these needs. However, amidst evolving economic landscapes and shifting political priorities, concerns about the sustainability and adequacy of funding for these vital services loom large.

The allocation of funds within the FY 2024/2025 California budget is of paramount importance for the I/DD community and the Regional Center System of Care. While specific details may vary, several overarching concerns emerge:

Funding Stability: One of the primary worries is the stability of funding for regional centers and related services. Fluctuations or cuts in funding could disrupt essential programs, leading to reduced access or quality of care for individuals with disabilities.

Service Availability: Adequate funding is essential to ensure the availability of a wide range of services tailored to the diverse needs of the I/DD Community. This includes therapies, residential supports, vocational training, and transportation services, among others. Any limitations in service provision could significantly impact the autonomy and well-being of individuals with disabilities.

Housing and Residential Supports: Access to safe and affordable housing options remains a pressing issue for many individuals with disabilities. The budget should prioritize initiatives aimed at expanding housing opportunities and enhancing support services to promote independent living and community integration.

Advocacy and Policy Initiatives: Adequate funding is required to support advocacy efforts and policy initiatives aimed at advancing the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. This includes promoting accessibility, combating discrimination, and fostering inclusive education and employment practices.

Addressing the concerns outlined above requires a multi-faceted approach that involves collaboration between government agencies, advocacy organizations, service providers, individuals with an I/DD and community members.

Some potential strategies include:

  • Engaging in advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the needs of the I/DD Community and the importance of adequate funding for support services.
  • Collaborating with policymakers to prioritize funding allocations that strengthen the Regional Center System of Care and enhance support services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Exploring innovative solutions to address housing challenges, such as incentivizing the development of accessible and inclusive housing options.
  • Empowering individuals with disabilities and their families to actively participate in decision-making processes and advocate for their rights and preferences.
    • Enter your location, and you’ll be provided with contact information for your assembly members and state senator. Find Address (

As California prepares to navigate the fiscal landscape of the FY 2024/2025 budget, it is essential to prioritize the needs and rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By allocating adequate funding, supporting workforce development, and promoting inclusive policies, the state can ensure that the Regional Center System of Care continues to provide vital support services that enhance the quality of life and promote the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in society.

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Dr. CJ Cook, DBA

As Program Administrator, CJ is responsible for the proactive oversight of various units within IRC, including Community Management, Service Access and Equity, and Training and Development. CJ's oversight extends to Language Access and Cultural Competency (LACC), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), equity in the Purchase of Service (POS), and the National Core Indicator (NCI) project. Furthermore, CJ is tasked with managing the IRC's Performance Contract with DDS and overseeing Emergency Services.

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