Assembly Approves Salas Bill to Restore Disability Services Funds
AB 763 brings funding to 3 Independent Living Centers, including Kern County
SACRAMENTO – Today, the State Assembly approved AB 763, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), which brings 3 of the state’s 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) up to the minimum state funding level. Assemblymember Salas successfully secured the funding for these centers in the 2016-17 budget but the funding was eliminated in the Governor’s 2017-18 budget plan.
“Independent Living Centers play a vital role in providing services for individuals with various disabilities – promoting their social and economic growth and allowing them to live productive, self-determined lives,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I was disappointed to see that Governor Brown eliminated this modest investment from the budget but I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan support this issue has received.”
“Equitable base-rate funding for all Independent Living Centers in California has been and continues to be a long standing problem especially for our center,” said Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of Independent Living Center of Kern County. “We are extremely concerned about the restoration of base-rate funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and we applaud Assemblyman Salas for taking the lead on this issue.”
In California, ILCs serve over 100,000 individuals with physical, sensory, cognitive and mental health disabilities each year providing employment, housing, technology, and advocacy services. The 3 centers serve thousands of individuals and their families in 10 counties including Kern, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Placer, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Tuolumne.
Last year, Assemblymember Salas authored AB 2565 to allocate the minimum state funding to all 28 ILCs and ultimately secured the $705,000 in the 2016-17 budget. However, that funding was eliminated from the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposal.
Earlier this year, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health Human Services acted to reject the Governor’s budget proposal after Assemblymember Salas submitted a letter co-signed by thirteen other members of the Legislature requesting the action. The item remains active as it moves to the Budget Conference Committee this week.