CDSA helps its members by keeping them informed and advocating in Sacramento for funding and legislation that supports service providers. That sounds simple, but there’s a lot to it.

CDSA Provides a Voice in Sacramento

advocacyWe raise the concerns of our members with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and with legislators and their staffs, address the state budget, legislation, regulations – and their implementation. This year, we’re having an impact in a variety of areas.

On the Budget:

As member of the Lanterman Coalition, we’re supporting the campaign to increase the community budget by 10%. Our campaign both within the State Capitol as well as throughout a statewide grassroots campaign resulted in budget augmentations in both houses of the Legislature. When the Governor refused, the state established a Special Session of the Legislature under the Governor’s directive to find new revenue sources to finance needed increases. After many years of advocacy about the abuse and neglect especially in light of the costs of care of consumers still in state institutions, we successfully advocated for a concerted effort to close the remaining state Developmental Centers, with transfer of the savings to the community to rebuild programs and increase rates currently “on the table” in the Special Session.

In our conversations with legislators and staff, we’ve talked about specific programs that need a rate increase and we’ve helped them understand the impacts of long-term frozen rates undermined by temporary rate cuts and other cost cutting measures from the great recession. We secured state financing for new state law requiring up to three sick days for employees and we continue to explain additional impacts of the minimum wage and other underfunded cost impacts leading to continued cost increases. We also point out that the overtime issues for respite and supported living is not resolved and must be funded as new federal regulations are debated and enacted.

On Legislation:

CDSA sponsored SB 638 (Stone) to increase provider rates and adjust the administrative cap for smaller providers and SB 639 (Stone), as well as AB 1405 (Grove) to push for the closure of the Developmental Centers.

CDSA is co-sponsoring several bills:

AB 449 (Irwin)/ SB 324 (Pavley) that would adjust state law to support savings plans to benefit persons with disabilities established by the federal ABLE Act.

AB 662 (Bonilla) would require adult changing stations in commercial buildings serving more than 1,000 persons per day.

SB 644 (Hancock) would allow an individual with a developmental disability to qualify for state employment through an internship rather than a competitive examination.

CDSA supports SB 490 (Beall/Huff), which would adjust the audit requirements for service providers

Of the four bills with which we had strong opposition, all but one have been amended or dropped to resolve our issues. The remaining bill (SB 3 – Leno) remains a bone of contention, not because it raises the state minimum wage for workers, but because state policy for when and how to adequately adjust frozen service rates remains deficient, causing providers to incur deficits without recourse.

On the Disability Services Task Force and the HCBS Transition Plan Advisory Group:

CDSA has representatives on both groups. We have concerns about the slow pace at which important issues are being addressed. These stakeholder groups are addressing serious, real-world problems that are time-sensitive. We will communicate these concerns as we engage in positive discussions about rates and the new federal expectations.

On Regulations:

CDSA monitors announcements on regulations and works with members to raise issues during the review process.

CDSA Is Preparing Members for Federal Impacts

Capitol ProtestCDSA is preparing its members for the impact of federal changes to the system and engaging DDS in discussions on the impact on the community. Service models and funding will change in California, through changes in CMS regulations, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the movement toward managed care, and the pressure of the Department of Justice is bringing in some states to address Olmstead issues such as the consent decree with the state of Rhode Island.

CDSA Monitors Business Issues

CDSA identifies business issues that impact members, both to advocate on legislation and to inform members about implementation and on-going guidelines.

CDSA Provides Support by Pursuing Employment Opportunities for Clients

Through the CARI program, we help member agencies pursue set-aside contracts and competitive bids. We monitor announcements and share opportunities with CARI participants, provide advice on proposals, coordinate with state officials, and help on billing issues. CDSA also works within the private industry to secure employment opportunities.

CDSA Keeps Members Informed

Through a monthly newsletter, we cover all current issues on the state and federal level, business/HR concerns, and other news of interest. We also report activity of committees and boards, and key events in member organizations.

We provide single issue updates on legislation and the budget as events occur. And, when action by constituents can make a difference, we send out alerts with messages/information for members to share with their legislators.

CDSA Provides Peer-to-Peer Communication

Through the association listserv, local caucus meetings, and state meetings, CDSA provides opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussions on the issues all providers face. On the listserv, members have shared policies, discussed ways to work with Regional Center staff, shared fundraising tips, and discussed messaging and public relations. The greatest value comes in face-to-face discussions about the realities of providing services and managing staff that only people in the same industry understand.

CDSA Provides Informative Presentations and Trainings

CDSA holds four meetings each year where we address ideas big and small. At our annual meeting, we provide training sessions on management issues and programs, speakers and debates on public policy, and insights from outside the industry. Our regional policy meetings and legislative affairs conference focus more on the state budget and legislative issues. When needed, we have offered additional training sessions on new program opportunities or state requirements.