|Reposted from the ARC Monday Morning Memo
The next few months promises to be both exciting and VERY busy! Friday, February 22, 2019 was the deadline for introducing legislation to be addressed this year. There is certainly a strong interest amongst members of the legislature to address issues of importance to the intellectual and developmental disability community. This year The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration is sponsoring SB 338 (Hueso) Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse: Law Enforcement Policies which would require law enforcement agencies that adopt or revise their policy manuals to include a policy on elder and adult abuse. In addition, The Arc and UCP CA Collaboration is co-sponsoring 3 other pieces of legislation that include AB 911 (Rodriquez) 911 Services: Elders and Persons with Disabilitiesthat would establish a 911 emergency communication system that would enable elder adults, persons with disabilities, and other at-risk persons to voluntarily provide vital health and safety information in order to enable first responders to better assist the public during an emergency. AB 311 (Frazier) Regional Centers: Daily Rates this bill would repeal existing law that requires activity centers, adult development centers, behavior management programs, and other look-alike day programs with a daily rate to bill regional centers for services provided to consumers in terms of half-days of service and full days of service. AB 438 (Frazier) Regional Center Services: Holidays this bill seeks to address the 2009 Uniform Holiday Schedule that prohibits Regional Centers from compensating designated programs and transportation vendors on specified holidays and dates.
In addition to The Arc/UCP California Collaboration sponsoring and co-sponsoring the above mentioned bills we are also in the process of building a very ambitious and diverse bill file that covers a wide range of issues that include but are not limited to housing, employment, health care, education, early intervention, special education, higher education, criminal justice, transportation, civil rights and other issues of importance to our community. Our overarching goal as we engage in legislative advocacy is to make sure our community and our issues are part of the larger public policy discussion across all sectors. We look forward to may robust conversations and advancing our policy agenda throughout the year.
Budget hearings are happening now and issues specific to the Department of Developmental Services are scheduled for hearing in the Assembly for March 6, 2019 and the Senate for May 2, 2019. We know we have a lot of work to do related to budget advocacy and we hope that EVERYONE will join us in our budget advocacy efforts. We are all anxiously awaiting the Rate Study, required to be delivered to the legislature by March 1, 2019, aimed at assessing sustainability, quality and transparency of community-based services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There is absolutely no doubt that our system is underfunded and we are advocating for a multi-year approach to creating stability in our system beginning with an 8% rate increase this year. PLEASE watch for action alerts in the upcoming weeks and join us as we advocate for system stability.