Friday, February 27, 2009

California Budget Crisis; Protest Scheduled for Los Angeles, March 2, 2009

California Budget Crisis
* Public Forum Today In Oakland at 3:30 PM
* Hosted by Dept of Developmental Services Director
* Focus on Input on Over $100 Million Regional Center Cuts
* Final Forum March 2 in Los Angeles – LA Protest Planned
CDCAN Townhall Telemeeting To Be Scheduled Soon With Department of Developmental Services Director To Provide Additional Opportunities For Public Comments and Input

SACRAMENTO, CALIF (CDCAN) [Updated 02/27/09 08:55 AM (Pacific Time) ] - Anxious over huge budget cuts at both the state and local level impacting regional centers and other health and human services, a large crowd of people with disabilities, families, community organizations and workers who provide supports and services is expected for the second of three public forms hosted by the Department of Developmental Services to hear public input on cutting over $100 million in permanent reductions – in addition to other budget cuts made - to the regional center budget during the 2009-2010 State Budget year, will be held today (February 27) - Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 6:30 PM, at the Elihu M. Harris State Office Building, 1515 Clay Street (between 14th and 16th Streets) in Oakland. A toll free call-in number for people who cannot physically attend this meeting has been set up and is: (800) 230-1085 (please note that each public forum has a different call in number). Nearest BART station is Oakland 19th Street – though people should check if elevators are operating for people who use wheelchairs or have special needs.

The Department of Developmental Services oversees the 21 non-profit regional centers that in turn coordinate the funding of a wide range of community-based services and supports provided by community providers and vendors across the State serving over 230,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. The Department of Developmental Services also owns and operates 5 Developmental Centers and 2 smaller health facilities. These services and supports are in addition to Medi-Cal, SSI/SSP, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), mental health services and special education services that many of the people that regional centers serve also receive. Many of those services are also being hit with large budget reductions, including cuts being made by local government.

Regional Centers Hit Hard by Budget Cuts This Year and Last Year
The Governor and Legislature compromised and passed budget reductions to regional centers in the budget agreement that became law February 20th, that totaled over $165 million (state and general funds) effective back to February 1, 2009 and continuing through the entire 2009-2010 State Budget year that ends June 30, 2010. Those cuts include a 3% reduction in payments to most regional center providers and a 3% cut to regional center operations.

In addition to those cuts, another $100 million (state funds) was also taken out of the regional center budget for the 2009-2010 State budget year (begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2010), though where those cuts will actually come from will be determined later. That total of $100 million does not include the loss of any federal matching funds – which is not known at this point until it is decided where those cuts will come from. The purpose of the public forums is to seek public input on suggestions and ideas regarding this budget cut.

Permanent cuts to regional centers of over $412 million (state and federal funds) were made in the State budget for 2008-2009 that was passed in September less than five months ago.
See previous CDCAN reports for details on these cuts or go to the CDCAN website at

Third Public Forum Set for March 2nd In Los Angeles
The third and final public forum sponsored by the Department of Developmental Services with Director Terri Delgadillo, is set for March 2 in Los Angeles at 1 PM at the Ronald Reagan State Office building. A sidewalk protest is planned outside the Ronald Reagan building to begin at 12 noon on March 2. See separate CDCAN Action Alert.

.A CDCAN Townhall Telemeeting will soon be scheduled in early March, with the Terri Delgadillo, director of the Department of Developmental Services, to provide additional opportunities for the public to make comments and provide input using toll free lines.

Sidewalk Protests Held Outside First Public Forum – And In SF Before Medi-Cal Court Hearing Last Week
About 200 people attending the first public forum in Sacramento on February 19. As reported earlier, outside before the event began, a large crowd of over 250 people with disabilities, family members, community organizations and workers who provide supports and services protested the budget cuts to regional centers, Medi-Cal , SSI/SSP and other health and human services, outside the Department of Health Care Services where the forum was held.
That protest followed a demonstration outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco, with nearly 300 people, at its peak, protesting the cuts to Medi-Cal, regional centers, IHSS, SSI/SSP, mental health. That protest was organized jointly by the Gray Panthers of SF and CDCAN to coincide with a hearing regarding the Medi-Cal provider rate cuts before the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Department of Developmental Services Director Says State Wants Input
Terri Delgadillo, director of the Department of Developmental Services, said that the department was hosting the public forums in order “…to receive input from consumers, family members, service providers and other stakeholders on possible cost containment strategies, including but not limited to those identified in Controlling Regional Center Costs Report which is available on the department’s web site at “

Delgadillo earlier said that the Department of Developmental Services would use the input from these forums to help guide – though not decide – the specifics and details on how reductions would be applied to regional center funded services and supports. Much of that detail is likely to come out after the Governor releases his revisions or changes to the budget in early June (normally released in mid-May but delayed due to the special election on May 19).

Note: CDCAN will soon be announcing statewide CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings with Department of Developmental Services director Terri Delgadillo in addition to the three public forums, to allow for even more public input. These townhalls – free and open to anyone – will be scheduled during the first week of March and will be announced later this week.

TIME: 3:30 to 6:30 PM
Elihu M. Harris State Office Building
1515 Clay Street,
Oakland, California
FEBRUARY 27th TOLL FREE CALL IN NUMBER: (800) 230-1085 [different from March 2]
CDCAN Note: The building is located on Clay Street between 14th and 16th Streets. Nearest BART Station is Oakland 19th Street.

TIME: 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Ronald Reagan State Office Building Auditorium
300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California
March 2 TOLL FREE CALL IN NUMBER: (800) 230-1074 [different from February 27th]

The Department of Developmental Services requested that in consideration of attendees who are sensitive to environmental odors created by chemicals and perfumes, please restrict the use of fragrances at this meeting.
If disability-related accommodations are required for your attendance or you need materials in alternate formats, please contact Debbie Middleton at (916) 654-1902, or at no later than February 26.

* The Department of Developmental Services welcomes written input and comments.
* Comments and ideas should be submitted by March 6 to:
Sarah Steenhausen at
For additional information, please contact her at 916-654-1989.

This is a CDCAN summary of the major budget reductions that will go into effect for the entire State budget year that begins July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. These cuts however are seen as permanent that will continue on into subsequent budget years. The cuts listed below does not include the 3% reductions to regional center operations and regional center provider payments, that cover the remaining months of the current State budget year (retroactive to February 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009) and continue on into the 2009-2010 State budget year that begins July 1.

The subject of the public forums is meant to address the $100 million cut that goes into effect July 1, 2009 (or if the Legislature does not approve the recommendations that the Department of Developmental Services makes in its report due on April 1, 2009, then the “trigger” is pulled to instead make an additional 7.1% reduction to regional center provider payments (on top of the existing 3%), effective September 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010).

* The Legislature approved a $100 million cut to the regional center budget, but without indicating where specifically the cuts will occur, and instead, is requiring the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to meet with stakeholders (interested persons and organizations) and then submit recommendations by April 1, 2009 to the Legislature outlining the detail of where cuts should occur that will result in a reduction in spending of $100 million (the total amount will be higher when the loss of federal funds are taken added to the total).
* The total reduction is $100 million in state general funds, effective July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 (though this cut is seen as permanent)
Following is ADDED [word “added” highlighted in color red for emphasis] to the Welfare and Institutions Code:
SEC. 10. (a) The State Department of Developmental Services shall submit a plan to the Legislature by April 1, 2009, as part of the Governor's Finance Letter process, that shall identify specific cost containment measures to achieve up to one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in General Fund reductions for the 2009-10 fiscal year in Item 4300-101-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2009.
The plan may encompass proposals identified in the Controlling Regional Center Costs Report, as submitted to fulfill the requirements of Chapter 188 of the Statutes of 2007, and any other measures identified through a stakeholder process to be conducted by the department. The plan shall, at a minimum, include a comprehensive description of each proposal, any applicable comment from the department and stakeholders as deemed appropriate by the department, its General Fund savings, draft statutory language necessary to implement each proposal, and its potential effect on the developmental services system.
(b) The stakeholder process shall include statewide organizations representing the interests of consumers, family members, service providers, and statewide advocacy organizations, as well as policy and fiscal staff of the Legislature. The department shall inform stakeholders of its process, including dates of meetings, as soon as possible.
(c) Any plan submitted by the department may be subsequently modified during the legislative review process. It is the intent of the Legislature to achieve a General Fund reduction of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in Item 4300-101-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2009 for the 2009-10 fiscal year.
(d) In the event statutory changes are not enacted by September 1, 2009, to achieve a General Fund reduction of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in Item 4300-101-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2009 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, as referenced above, the State Department of Developmental Services shall direct regional centers to reduce all payments for services and supports paid from purchase of services funds for services delivered on or after September 1, 2009, by 7.1 percent. To the extent that statutory changes are enacted at a later date to produce a portion of the one hundred million dollar ($100,000,000) General Fund reduction amount, then the 7.1 percent reduction may be reduced accordingly.
(e) Regional centers shall not reduce payments for any of the following:
(1) Supported employment services with rates set by Section 4860 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) Services with "usual and customary" rates established pursuant to Section 57210 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.
(3) Payments to offset reductions in Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) benefits for consumers receiving supported and independent living services.
(f) In subsequent fiscal years, the percentage described in subdivision (d) shall be adjusted to ensure a General Fund reduction of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in Item 4300 101-0001 of the Budget Act for that fiscal year.
* This cut is in addition to the 3% provider payment cut, and in addition to previous State budget year budget cuts.
* It is not certain who will be impacted by this cut until specifics are released by the Department of Developmental Services after April 1, 2009
* This cut, while still major, is significantly less than what the Governor originally proposed in January ($334 million reduction on top of the 3% provider cut). The $100 million total however does not include the loss of federal funds – the exact amount would depend on what programs or services were cut.
* The process after the Department of Developmental Services submits the report with recommendations (including changes in existing State law) to achieve this $100 million reduction in State general funds is not clear, but assumption is that there will likely be one or two budget subcommittee (or full committee) hearings in both the State Senate and Assembly. It is possible that details on the recommendation may not be available until after the Governor releases his budget changes and revisions in June after the May 19 special election (in normal budget years it would be in May and is called the “May Revise”.
* Because the budget for 2009-2010 was passed early – in February, the process that follows the release of the Governor’s “May Revise” changes and budget adjustments will be very different than the normal process. In the “normal” budget process, the budget is still not final – and final hearings are held, then the budget goes to conference committee and then later, to both floors. This year that process won’t happen – but it is not clear what exactly will happen.
* It does appear that some budget hearings will be held, some votes in budget subcommittees could be taken on some budget changes or adjustments – like the recommendations that will come from the Department of Developmental Services. A budget related bill would be passed which would make changes or adjustments to the 2009-2010 State budget that is already passed and in place.

* Additional 7.1% Regional Center Provider Payment Cut if $100 Million Cut Does Not Happen – in an unusual budget requirement, the budget agreement with the Governor and Legislature included a “trigger” to make sure the cut of $100 million in state funds to regional center occurs during the 2009-2010 State budget year is achieved – either through an additional 7.1% provider payment cut (on top of the 3%) or the cut achieved through other means that total $100 million in state general funds during that same budget year.
* If the Legislature determines that the recommendations made by the Department of Developmental Services on April 1, 2009 will not achieve the savings of $100 million in State general fund money, then an additional 7.1% cut (on top of the 3%) in regional center provider payments would automatically go into effect September 1, 2009.
* That cut would, if it goes into effect, total 10.1% reduction in provider payments and total an estimated $100 million in State general fund money from September 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. The amount will likely be much higher if federal matching funds are factored in.
See budget related (trailer) bill language under the “$100 Million Unspecified Reduction” above
* If the Legislature does not approve specific changes in State law to implement the $100 million cut, then the 7.1% provider payment reduction would go into effect September 1, 2009 automatically.

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MANY, MANY THANKS to FEAT of Sacramento (Families for Early Autism Treatment), RESCoalition, Easter Seals of Southern California, Tri-Counties Regional Center, Westside Regional Center, Regional Center of the East Bay, Friends of Children with Special Needs, UCP of Orange County, UCP of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, Alta California Regional Center, Life Steps, Parents Helping Parents, Work Training, Foothill Autism Alliance, Arc Contra Costa, Pause4Kids, Manteca CAPS, Training Toward Self Reliance, UCP, California NAELA, Californians for Disability Rights, Inc (CDR) including CDR chapters, CHANCE Inc, , Strategies To Empower People (STEP), Harbor Regional Center, Asian American parents groups, Resources for Independent Living and many other Independent Living Centers, several regional centers, People First chapters, IHSS workers, other self advocacy and family support groups, developmental center families, adoption assistance program families and children, and others across California

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