For Immediate Release
New California Budget Data Shows Staggering Deficits in Developmental Services Funding
March 18, 2019
Landmark Report Shows $1.8 Billion Shortfall For People With Developmental Disabilities
Sacramento, CA. - California Supported Living Network (CSLN) released the following statement today in response to the newly released vendor rate study by the California Department of Developmental Services, which shows staggering budget deficits in community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.
“The State’s landmark rate study confirms in shocking detail what we experience every day – that community-based programs supporting Californians with developmental disabilities are grossly underfunded, causing a workforce crisis that now jeopardizes the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities,” said Jacquie Dillard-Foss, governmental affairs co-chair for the California Supported Living Network. “It’s time for Legislators to act. CSLN is eager to help lead the way and partner with the State, consumers and direct support providers to reverse the current workforce shortage, help professionalize direct support providers and ensure people with developmental disabilities receive the quality services they should expect and deserve.” #WhatsMyWorth
“The State’s own data is staggering, demonstrating how California has chronically underfunded community-based services by 40% and left an unprecedented $1.8 Billion shortfall in necessary funding for people with developmental disabilities,” said Mark Melanson, president of the California Supporting Living Network. “We hope this study marks an important change of course - an opportunity to recognize and professionalize the disability services workforce while providing them the competitive wages necessary to recruit, train and retain critical support staff. They deserve more. And so do the more than 330,000 Californians with developmental disabilities.”
The California State Legislature ordered this unprecedented vendor rate study in 2016 as part of California ABX2 1. The goal of the two-year study was to assess the sustainability, quality and transparency of community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The California Department of Developmental Servicesreleased the study March 15, 2019, with staggering fiscal results. The study demonstrates how service providers and community-based programs are dramatically underfunded - by as much as 96% for some service categories - requiring $1.8 Billion to make up the funding deficit. More than 330,000 Californians with developmental disabilities require community-based services to help them live and work as independently as possible, but chronic underfunding of the system has caused a workforce shortage crisis. CSLN recently released its own study detailing how service provider wages are unable to compete with many minimum wage entry-level jobs.
The California Supported Living Network is a diverse network of nearly 100 service agencies that provide quality community-based services for people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. The network employs nearly 100,000 people who provide hands-on services to 29,000 clients in their homes, communities or workplaces. These direct service professionals work every day to ensure their clients receive the quality, reliable and sustainable services they need and deserve.
Front Page of the SF Chronicle 3/18/19