By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
California has been transitioning from residential to community-based care for people with developmental disabilities, with the state expecting to see substantial cost savings. While Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal diverts that money to pay for other state programs, myself and other legislators want to provide a secure source of funding for some of the most vulnerable people in the state. We are calling on the Governor to support Californians with developmental disabilities and their caregivers by permanently dedicating savings from the closure of developmental centers to increase pay for service providers.
Gov. Newsom’s first budget proposal would provide caregivers for Californians with developmental disabilities a minimal funding increase, while counting $21.6 million in “savings” from the closure of developmental centers. With a statewide surplus of more than $21 billion, there is something seriously wrong with the state’s priorities if we can’t find room in the budget to care for this vulnerable population.
Locally based agencies caring for the developmentally disabled operate throughout the state. But due to the state’s low level of funding, these agencies are often forced to operate on a shoestring budget, which is seriously impacting their ability to continue providing care for California’s DD population.
The state’s developmental centers have been serving the needs of the Developmentally Disabled for well over 100 years. With this long history, I have joined my colleagues to support directing savings generated by the centers’ closure toward programs that continue to care for these vulnerable Californians.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.