Republican assembly members and advocates rallied to protect funding for services for those with developmental disabilities on Wednesday.
Funds are threatened for people with disabilities as residential facilities are replaced by community care programs in California, an announcement from Assembly Republicans said.
Under current law, the millions of dollars that will be saved by changing from facilities to services will go into the general fund.
“With the transition from residential to community-based services, there’s going to be money that is left to the state, and we’ve got to make sure it doesn’t end up in the general fund,” Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said.
If funding were to go to the general fund, there is no guarantee it would make its way back to help people with developmental disabilities, Acosta said.
“I spent a lot of time with members of my constituency that will be affected by this particular change, and I see the fear in their eyes of not knowing where the funding will come from or how they will pay for these services,” Acosta said. “No one deserves to live in that type of fear.”
Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Lancaster) discussed the need to direct money that is collected from closing development centers to go toward disability services.
“We must ensure that we protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Lackey said. “We don’t need to just move the people, we need to move the services.”
According to Lackey, funding is better than it once was, but there is still more that can be done.
“Last year, the victory we enjoyed that enhanced funding to the programs is greatly appreciated and very meaningful, but it’s just the beginning,” Lackey said.
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