Lanterman’s Response to DDS’ “Proposals to Achieve $174 Million General Fund Savings”
In the last message to our community regarding the budget, we shared that there were going to be several hearings about the Department of Developmental Services’ document “Proposals to Achieve $174 Million General Fund Savings.”
After reviewing the proposals, in response, Lanterman Regional Center’s Board of Directors wrote a letter on behalf of the Center to address concerns that the proposed trailer bill language that is intended to save $174 million by making changes to regional centers and other developmental services programs is in fact not creating any statewide service standards/best practices, but rather that the proposals merely appear to be “expedient cost-cutting to meet a target.”
Following is an excerpt from the letter: “We are disappointed that, contrary to the requirement of the Budget Trailer Bill of FY11-12 that DDS create statewide service standards/best practices, DDS has put forth recommendations that are not service standards and that do no describe best practices. Since 2003, with the publication of the first version of our paper ‘Towards a Sustainable Entitlement for the Developmental Services System,’ Lanterman has strongly advocated development of statewide service standards and offered other recommendations for improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of services to our clients and families.
The Department appeared to make a commitment to developing actual service standards when it distributed the Internet survey soliciting input on service-related factors including ‘eligibility for the service; duration of service necessary to meet objectives set in an IPP; frequency and efficacy of the service necessary to meet objectives in an IPP;...service providers’ qualifications and performance;...and parental and consumer responsibilities…’ With the possible exception of a recommendation to allow lesser qualified individuals provide direct behavior services, however, the ‘Proposals to Achieve $174 Million General Fund Savings’ do no address any of these factors. Rather, these proposals put forward by DDS appear to be no more than expedient cost-cutting to meet a target.”
This response is being widely circulated among the various legislative committees, including the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, and the Senate and Assembly Human Services Committees.
While most everything related to the budget is still in proposal stages, we are making notes from the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hearing on May 27, 2011, and provided to the Regional Center by the Association of Regional Center Agencies, available to our community. These notes include various matters regarding the Fiscal Year 2011-12 budget that the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #3 voted on during the May 27 hearing, as well as summaries of numerous items discussed as relates to both the regional centers and developmental centers.