To skip the explanations and take 20 seconds to email your legislators, please click the blue “Take Action!” button in the upper right of this Action Alert, enter your ZIP code, and follow the prompts. The situation keeps changing and getting more urgent, so I’m asking you to email them now even if you’ve contacted them before.
For those who want an explanation, here it is as of today (Friday), as briefly as I can put it:
The Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees voted yesterday. Both of them clearly heard our community’s united, vocal request for a 10% across-the-board funding increase this year to save our developmental services system. Each of them voted to give us some — but not all — of what we asked for. We like part of the Assembly version and part of the Senate version.
The two versions will go to the Senate-Assembly budget conference committee for action, probably starting next week. The final budget will depend on what that committee decides and, especially, on the legislative leaders’ negotiations with Governor Brown, who doesn’t want to increase our services’ funding at all.
The Assembly version would give our services a 10% across-the-board increase phased in over two years, starting January 1, 2016. We like that it’s across-the-board, but we want it to start July 1, because our entire system is in deep trouble and we believe some programs will close without more money this year.
The Senate version would give 10% to some to services and nothing to other services such as day programs, group homes, and regional center operations. But it would do two things that we like a lot: direct the administration to develop a realistic funding formula for future years that actually is based in the services’ costs; and give our community services the money from future years’ budget savings produced by closing the developmental centers.
So we’re asking all 120 legislators to tell their leaders and budget conference committee members to support the Assembly 10% across-the-board funding increase (but starting July 1) and the Senate language on future actions – no matter what Governor Brown says. That’s what the email I’m asking you to send them says. And of course, you can also add your own thoughts.
I probably haven’t thanked the thousands of you enough for all the petitions you’ve signed, emails and letters you’ve sent, hearings and rallies you’ve attended, and legislators’ office visits you’ve made. We know they have made a difference because legislators have told us so, very clearly. So ….
Thank you for your advocacy.
PS. And as usual, please forward this Action Alert to everyone you know who might be willing to take 20 seconds to send one more email now.