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The Urgent Next Step in the Fight to Save the Lanterman Act

Posted Mar 16 2011 11:11am

The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy of California have put out an urgent action alert for residents of California. And by urgent they mean now. Their is a meeting at 1pm that they want to impact (<5 hours from when this was published).


Dear Friends,

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. But that leaves $147 million in cuts that have to come from someplace.

The administration wants the $147 million to come from purchase-of-service “standards,” or “best practices” as the Legislature has started calling them. Either way sound good, but what they really mean is that arbitrary limits and not IPPs and IFSPs would determine what services people with disabilities receive.

The Legislature is set to meet at 1 p.m. today to vote 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 help head off that threat—one to each of you two local state legislators, your state senator and assembly member.

If you don’t know who they are, go to http://capwiz.com/thearc/state/main/?state=CA&view=myofficials , enter your ZIP code, scroll down to “state senators” and “state representatives,” and click on their names.

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

1. Ask to talk to someone about the development services budget.
2. Write down the staff member’s name.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 that the administration’s recommendations would do. The idea is 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. God knows we’re been working hard enough here in Sacramento to get it to them since the Assembly Bill 98 came out yesterday.

If you want to read the bill for yourself, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_98_bill_20110314_amended_sen_v98.html . Section 1 starts on page 5.

Thank you for your advocacy.

Greg

Greg deGiere
Public Policy Director
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California
1225 Eighth Street, Suite 350
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-552-6619, ext. 16
916-223-7319 (mobile)
916-441-3494 (fax)

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