The following is a message from the ARC and UCP CA's collaborative efforts to save the Lanterman Act in California. Please make phone calls to your state legislators today to try and save the important programs that the Lanterman Act provides to children and adults with disabilities here in California!
Action Alert: The Arc and UCP CA Collaboration
Our community's overwhelming turnout in the Capitol and numerous calls and visits to legislators, asking them to save the Lanterman Act, paid off. The Legislature so far has rejected most of the developmental services service cuts that the Brown administration proposed.
But the fight continues. We need your advocacy again -- this morning.
Here's where we stand. The Legislature's budget committees, with both Democrats and Republicans voting for us, reduced the size of the cut to community services for people with developmental disabilities by $386 million. We are all working to sustain our system within these remaining cuts but we are asking you to help us fight the Brown administration's process for achieving $174 million of the cuts in state funds.
The administration wants $174 million to come from purchase-of-service "standards," or "best practices" as the Legislature has started calling them. This idea has been rejected repeatedly by the legislature and opposed by every community advocacy group in years past. While standards and best practices sound good they are actually cost cutting measures to that will change service: (1) eligibility, (2) duration, (3) frequency, (4) rates, (5) provider qualification, etc. for everyone, establishing standard arbitrary limits as opposed to our current method of determining needs through the person centered IPP or IFSP.
The Legislature is in recess and will vote soon on the state budget and bills to cut spending to balance the budget. One of the bills, AB 98, would direct the administration (specially, the Department of Developmental Services) to develop "best practices" and recommend them to the Legislature by May 15. There are two calls I'm asking you to make before then to help head off that threat -- one to each of your two local state legislators, your state senator and assemblymember.
If you don't know who they are, go to http://capwiz.com/thearc/
If you already have talked to staff members in your legislators' local or Capitol offices, call those staff members again. Otherwise, call their Capitol offices.
Here is what you might say to each of them
- Ask to talk to someone about the developmental services budget.
- Write down the staff member's name.
- Introduce yourself, give them you address, and tell them why you care. For example, if you're the parent of someone with a developmental disability, say so.
- Tell them that you are against Section 1 of Assembly Bill 98, the developmental services budget "trailer bill" (they'll know what that means). That's the section about "best practices." Ask that the legislator try to get it removed from the bill.
- Even more important, whether or not Section 1 stays in the bill, ask the legislator to make a statement when the bill comes up for discussion today. Ask that the legislator say, when the Department of Developmental Services presents its recommendations for "best practices to the Legislature on May 15, the Legislature should consider the community organizations' alternatives for ways to make savings in the budget while doing less damage to the IPP than the administration's recommendations would likely do. The idea is to serve notice now that the Legislature will consider our community's recommendations equally with the administration's.
I know this is complicated. I wish I could make it simpler. I think that, if you stick to the five things I've suggested, your legislators will get the message. We've been working hard here in Sacramento to get this message to them since the Assembly Bill 98 came out yesterday.
Thank you for your advocacy.
Public Policy Director
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California
1225 Eighth Street, Suite 350
Sacramento, CA 95814