Salas Fights to Restore Hard-fought Funding for Disability Services
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Rejects Governor’s elimination of funds
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) testified at the Assembly Subcommittee 1 hearing on Health and Human Services in support of rejecting the Governor’s funding cuts for three Independent Living Centers (ILCs). Last year, Assemblymember Salas worked closely with the committee, the Independent Living Center of Kern County, and other disability groups to secure funding in the state budget.
“I was disappointed to see that Governor Brown eliminated this modest investment from the budget but I am confident that funding will be restored,” said Assemblymember Salas. “Equally funding our state’s Independent Living Centers will improve their ability to operate and have long lasting positive impacts on the thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families.”
“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.”
Last year, Assemblymember Salas authored AB 2565 which would have made the minimum state funding available to all ILCs. After extensive negotiations and collective support from a range of disability services stakeholders, the $705,000 for the three unfunded ILCs was ultimately included in the 2016-17 budget. Unfortunately, that funding was removed from the Governor’s 2017-18 budget proposal released in January.
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. These services benefit both the individual as well as their families. The three centers that will not receive state funding beginning in 2018 serve thousands of individuals and their families in ten counties including Kern, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Placer, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Tuolumne..
This budget change proposal would authorize these centers to receive the minimum base state funding of $235,000 that is currently available to all of the 25 other ILCs. Assemblymember Salas has also introduced AB 763 in order to ensure continuous state funding for all ILC’s.