For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2015
People with Developmental Disabilities Devastated By Irresponsible Budget Deal
Democratic Agreement Completely Ignores Pleas For Critically Needed Funding
Advocates Vow to Continue Vigil Until Governor Brown Signs Responsible Deal
Sacramento, CA – The Lanterman Coalition, a group representing 19 organizations that support people with developmental disabilities, released the following statement today in reaction to the California State Budget deal:
“The California budget agreement announcement sent shockwaves throughout the developmentally disabled community. We’re reeling, in a state of disbelief. This disgraceful disregard for California’s most vulnerable citizens is an assault on California’s collective conscience and violates our most basic moral responsibilities. We will be watching this special session closely and are counting on the Governor and State Legislature to #DoTheRightThing and KeepThePromise to people with developmental disabilities by restoring funding to critically needed programs.”
–Tony Anderson, Lanterman Coalition President
Basic support services for people with disabilities like autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy have received just one rate increase of 3% this century – while the cost of living has risen by 30%! This gross underfunding is causing desperately needed programs like transportation, job coaching and residential housing to shut their doors, putting people with developmental disabilities at risk.
Members of the Lanterman Coalition will launch a statewide rally Wednesday pleading with lawmakers and Gov. Brown to pass a responsible budget. Members also vow to continue their statewide Virtual Vigil until an acceptable budget is signed. Most of California’s 280-thousand people with developmental disabilities are unable to march and protest at the Capitol, so they’ve launched a virtual vigil that gives them an opportunity to participate like never before.
Or watch their Virtual Vigil Video on YouTube.
The Lanterman Coalition had been advocating for a 10-percent across the board increase ($380 Million) to begin restoring basic services to people with developmental disabilities. The State Budget Bill passed Monday includes just $98 Million in additional rate increases, which amounted to a 2.6% increase. But the agreement announced Tuesday by Gov. Brown and Legislative Leaders doesn’t even include that 2.6%.
The Lanterman Coalition is dedicated to the preservation of the Lanterman Act, a 1969 law that guarantees Californians with developmental disabilities will receive the support necessary to live and work as independently as possible in their own communities. Lanterman Coalition members are The Arc and UCP California, the Association of Regional Center Agencies, Autism Society of California, California Disability Services Association, California Respite Association, California Supported Living Network, Disability Rights California, California Easter Seals affiliates, Family Resource Center Network California, EducateAdvocate, Infant Development Association, People First California, ResCoalition, State Council on Developmental Services, Service Employees International Union, California Association of Health Facilities, and the Alliance for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Tony Anderson 916.770.0091