Shame On You, Governor Brown
The service delivery network supporting individuals with developmental disabilities is falling apart due to thirteen years without rate increases to the vendors contracted by the Department of Developmental Services. During the recession, the State of California reduced their payments by 4.5% for three years. The cost of providing services has increased dramatically over the past decade with higher wages, health insurance, workers’ compensation and general insurance. The Governor does not understand that the support services provided to people with developmental disabilities helps them become more independent and their support cost goes down for the State.
During the budget hearings last year, both Democrats and Republicans wanted to approve a 10% emergency rate increase to prevent more facilities from closing. The Democrats wanted to pay for the cost with a liquor tax and the Republicans wanted the reserves to be used for the rate increase. The Governor did not get involved in settling this dispute, so the system could be saved. Many facilities and nonprofit organizations have not been able to survive on the existing rates.
The situation has become much worse in the last six months. The public outcry has increased to include Democrats, Republicans, and labor unions. Now Jerry Brown has decided to use the issue as leverage to get Republicans to support a health care tax. He is not approving the amount that is needed to help the delivery system recover after over a decade of neglect. Governor, people with developmental disabilities work, live and vote in our community. It is time to stop exploiting them for your political gain and provide the funding for agencies to meet the high cost of providing services in California.