News & Events

Budget Update: Sunday's Hearing; Senate Counterpro

May 2020

But First, A Thanks To Our Very Essential Workers!
The Beautiful Faces of LAHH

The Crew from Los Angeles Habilitation House, a non-profit organization which employs crew members with developmental disabilities, has been responsible for deep cleaning and sanitizing our work areas at HRC for our staff who are coming into the office. They are truly essential to our continuing to serve our community! Here are some thoughts from the Directors of LAHH about their crew members.

"A few days ago something new entered and penetrated my horizon and reopened my heart. While working at one of our sites supporting the janitorial crew I heard this short exchange on the radios between two of my colleagues with disabilities:

“J. come in...” “This is J go ahead S.” “I have completed the restrooms and I am going on the break”, “Thank you S., Come home, S, Come home.”

I was caught off guard by this dialogue full of tenderness. Reflecting later, I saw two things I want to share.

In this time of crisis, when we are more exposed, a greater tenderness can emerge among us, when we see we are in this together.

And secondly, what is emerging is what we value the most. This simple dialogue showed me that there is a piece of home at work. Home is a place where we can find ourselves, who we love, and what we care about. I recognized a more human gaze on me and the other.

I want to reiterate, we are in this together and it’s possible to find a little piece of home at work." -Guido Piccarolo, CEO

"Everything that is essential is being highlighted in these days and for this I am very grateful.

There is also a deeper and more intense relationship at work with all of our employees. This is also something very beautiful. We had a discussion with everyone, asking them if they wanted to work, and there was a resounding yes! When our employees showed up to work on Friday, just after the Safer at Home order was implemented, their faces were radiant. Our colleagues with disabilities understood that they are being asked something special and wanted to respond.

We are very pleased that the world is saying something that Guido and I and the families and friends already knew - our employees with disabilities, are essential." Nancy Albin, Vice President

UPDATE on Budget Hearing

Last Sunday, the Senate Budget committee that focuses on our system heard the Department of Developmental Services present the proposed budget cuts to developmental services in the community. These cuts are part of the Governor's May Budget Revision in response to the projected budget deficit caused by the Pandemic. Thank you to many of you who attempted to join the call and testify on behalf of developmental services, but again, the overwhelming response from throughout the state may have prevented you from getting in. Many of you listened to the hearing nonetheless.

Proposed $300 Million+ Cuts to our service system included:

  • $230M from the state General Fund (GF) is expected to be saved through rate reductions to developmental service providers.
  • $70M GF is also expected to be saved through "Standardization of targeted services" (e.g., respite), "efficiencies allowing for greater flexibility", and, "exploration of utilization for individuals". The Department of Developmental Services plans to work with regional centers to examine increasing expenditures.
  • $30M GF reduction to Regional Center Operations (eg staff).
  • Increase enrollment in MediCal for children who are eligible due to Institutional Deeming to access federal funding of their services instead of state funding. DDS is proposing that "A parent, guardian, conservator or authorized representative who does not apply for Medi-Cal benefits for each eligible child within the 90 days shall reimburse the Department the federal portion of the cost of any services received by the consumer that would have received Medi-Cal waiver funding."

Proposed Cuts to other community service programs vital to our clients included a 7% cut to IHSS service hours.

Today we learned that the Senate is proposing its own alternate budget that would reject the above cuts to human services and come up with alternative measures. Watch for future updates. The fate of our state budget under either scenario is going to be contingent upon receiving federal funding. See our earlier bulletin Prevent Cuts to Our Services.

You can express your views to your California Senators and Assembly Members. Find your representatives and their contact information at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.