|This is a Good News / Bad News message, and we need your action this week to push for more good news in the future.
The Good News
On Friday, California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) announced the Senate’s key priorities for the 2019-2020 budget, and both the Governor’s targeted increases for certain services and an 8% increase for all other services (staring January 2020) are part of the 31-item priority list. This is the list that will be discussed in the Budget Conference Committee.
Both houses eliminated the recession-era cuts (application of the 14-day uniform holiday schedule and half-day billing, and the freeze on social recreation and camping). The Senate also funded a solution to the “minimum wage quirk” that keeps providers with local minimum wages from receiving any funding related to state minimum wage increases.
The Bad News
The dynamic will always be toward compromise or the lower number, and the Assembly was considerably lower.
The leadership in the Assembly held the funding increase to the Governor’s proposed increase but spread it evenly across providers, for a 5.7% increase. Since the proposal stays within the Governor’s fiscal parameters, he’s likely to support this approach. The Assembly didn’t address the minimum wage quirk.
We need you to do three things this week.
Task 1: The Senate Conferees
We need to thank and encourage Senators on the Conference Committee and Pro Tem Toni Atkins to keep the 8% increase in the budget. Send an e-mail or call their office and deliver a message like this:
We thank the Senate for adding a permanent 8% rate increase for all service providers and eliminating the three recession-era cuts (14-day holiday schedule, half-day billing, and social recreation services). The DDS rate study says the service system is underfunded by $1.8 billion, and providers can’t hold out any longer. So, please support the commitment the Senate has made and keep the 8% rate increase in the budget throughout the negotiations.
Senators to Contact
Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Chair
Capitol Office (916) 651-4030
District Office (213) 745-6656
Senator John M. W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)
Capitol Office (916) 651-4037
District Office (714) 662-6050
Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama)
Capitol Office (916) 651-4004
District Offices (916) 772-0571, (530) 751-8657, (530) 879-7424
Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside)
Capitol Office (916) 651-4031
District Office (951) 680-6750
Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley)
Capitol Office (916) 651-4009
District Office (510) 286-1333
Senator Toni Atkins, President Pro Tem
State Capitol (916) 651-4039
District Office (619) 645-3133
Task 2: Assembly Conferees
We need to push Assembly Members on the Conference Committee and Speaker Anthony Rendon to relax their position and accept the Senate proposal on the DDS budget that gives providers an 8% rate increase. So, call or e-mail them. The basic message is:
The DDS rate study says service providers are underfunded by $1.8 billion. We provide vital services to people with developmental disabilities, and we need a rate increase to keep operating. Please support the Senate proposal for an 8% across-the-board increase.
Assmeblymembers to Contact
Capitol Office (916) 319-2019
District Office (415) 557-2312
Capitol Office (916) 319-2042
District Office (760) 346-6342
Capitol Office (916) 319-2007
District Office (916) 324-4676
Capitol Office (916) 319-2033
District Office (760) 244-5277
Capitol Office (916) 319-2079
District Office (619) 531-7913
Capitol Office (916) 319-2063
District Office (562) 529-3250
Task 3: Your Legislators
If your legislator signed the letter supporting the 8%, call them and thank them for their support. Tell them the current situation and urge them to talk to members of the Conference Committee.
Use this link to find your legislator: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Below are the Democrats who signed the budget letters. All Republicans signed a separate budget letter.