Wilk seeks funds to help developmental and intellectual disability-focused services

Sen. Scott Wilk

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday he is seeking funds to help adequately cover services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

He and other Senate Republicans, who wrote to budget committee chairpersons in a Feb. 28 letter, are recommending the state budget prioritize funding and implement the 2019 developmental services provider rate study. 

“The voices of Californians with these types of disabilities often go unheard. Budgeting is about priorities and the needs of this community have frankly not been prioritized,” Wilk said in a prepared statement.

More closely, the state legislators are recommending that the 2020-21 budget consider a multi-year approach to implement the rate models and close a $1.4 billion funding gap throughout the 2020-21 and 2022-23 fiscal years. 

“Last year, the administration’s own provider rate study revealed that community-based services were underfunded by almost $2 billion,” Wilk said. “That study confirmed what we have been hearing for years — the system is chronically and tragically underfunded.”

They also called for the restoration of benefits removed in the recession, including social recreation and camp services, as well as the use of client-focused data, such as the National Core Indicators, to incentivize quality and prioritize outcomes that are meaningful to individuals with developmental disabilities and families, according to the letter. 

“In order to honor our commitment to our neighbors, friends and families with (intellectual and developmental disabilities), we must ensure that the work does not end with still more conversations, work groups and reports about the rate study, but instead results in a concrete and actionable multi-year plan to implement appropriate rates for (intellectual and developmental disabilities) providers,” the letter read. 

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