SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), chair of the Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, said today he is grateful for a few small gains for the IDD community in the state budget the Legislature adopted today. These include a rate increase for some service providers – $125 million in this year’s budget and $150 million in next year’s – access to state minimum wage adjustments and restoration of a service exclusion (uniform holiday schedule) adopted during the 2009 recession.
However, Frazier said he is disappointed that the IDD community is still being left behind in budgets that each year increase spending in other parts of the social safety net. He expressed his frustration in an address to his colleagues in the Assembly during today’s Floor vote to adopt the budget:
“While this Budget puts funding into programs that serve Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we all have to acknowledge that we aren’t doing enough and will need to do more, maybe even this year.
First, this budget provides funding, but it doesn’t start until January 1, and the fact is that some programs can’t wait for that.
Second, this budget gives funding to some programs, but leaves many out, and that’s just wrong. These programs are struggling because our state – past legislatures and governors and, now, our current legislature and governor – have only given this system two increases in 20 years. The current administration rejected giving increases to some programs that it believes will be out-of-favor under federal guidelines that are supposed to be implemented in 2022. But, today, these programs are providing services selected by people with IDD and their families, approved by a regional center in their area, and that meet their needs in your district and my district. Until we have a plan for other options, we can’t simply abandon these programs or risk them failing because we think they might not receive federal funding three years from now.
Third, the Department of Developmental Services said it made the choices to fund the programs based upon the rate study it released in March. But we all need to keep in mind that this rate study is not finalized. The Department took in comments from the public, which included many addressing huge flaws in the study, and the Department has yet to answer these comments. We need answers and it is our job to provide the oversight necessary to compel them to answer.
Lastly, the rate study says we are underfunding this system by $1.2 billion in the General Fund. This Budget responds with $129 million this year, $258 million annually. As I said in the beginning, we’re shorting them by about a billion dollars. We need to do more.”
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which encompasses a large cross section of the Delta in Central Solano, Eastern Contra Costa and Southern Sacramento counties, and includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.
CONTACT: Andrew Bird (916) 319-2011 Andrew.Bird@asm.ca.gov