Governor Brown mandated “extraordinary” special sessions to address funding services for the developmentally disabled, MediCal provider reimbursement rates, transportation and road issues and a medley of other programs. With no cost of living raises for more than 9 years, no provider rate increases for more than 15 years, recession era cuts that were made years ago but no increase in the DD budget now , services to the developmentally disabled continue to disappear as more providers go out of business. Furthermore Gov Brown stated that no extra money from the general fund could be allocated for DD.
Legislators are consequently proposing a variety of new tax bills and/or fees to fund our services and others. After meeting with 7 legislators or their aides in the past month and a half, I see 3 hurdles for our community to overcome to receive desperately needed funds. 1) pass taxes that will generate increased revenue 2) once tax bill is passed, make sure that money actually is directed towards the DD budget 3) make sure Gov. Brown does not veto funds going to DD. But do the legislators have the political will to agree on raising taxes? We’ve had energizing rallies and marches locally and in Sacramento. We attend legislative meetings and give testimony, we visit our local legislators, but so far no real action from our legislators.
When I asked legislators what we, as parents and advocates can do, to make sure we will not continue to be marginalized and passed over, legislators or their aides all said the same thing. We need to keep contacting them, tell them what we need, increase press coverage and be more visible. A couple even suggested sit in’s. They also said we need Republican votes for the required two thirds vote. Bring your child or adult with autism to their office. They are less likely to forget us when they see our children.
You may ask yourself, what can I as an individual do?
A. Call NOW (should take no more than 10 minutes) or visit your local legislator, make friends with your legislator and adopt a legislator, and ask them to pass bills supportive to our DDcommunity. ABX2- 1 MCO tax; SBX2- 1 Beall DD funding 10%; SBX2-4 DD services MediCal rate increases; SBX 2-11 DD services-Developmental Center closures; SBX2-13 Tobacco tax ($2+/pack), SB681 -prevent PGE from tax break; ABX2-18 (Cocktails for Health Outcomes, Bonilla)
B. Emphasize that proceedings from these bills and others go to DD WE cannot be passed over yet again.
C. Ask our legislators to tell Gov. Brown that we must receive funding. All lives matter.
D. Please consider also calling Assemblymember Catherine Baker’s office and ask for their support for AB 18. Her contact info is: (916) 319-2016 – Sacramento
Also call these legislative leaders:
Senator Carol Liu's Sacramento Office 916) 651-4025
Senator Ed Hernandez's Sac Office 916) 651-4022.
Senator Holly Mitchell's Sac Office (916) 651-4030
Senator Kevin de Leon's Sac Office (916) 651-4024
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE