California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Calif. Republicans Want To Boost Developmental Disability Funding

Last week, some California Republican lawmakers joined advocates across the state in calling for additional funding for programs that support individuals with developmental disabilities, the Sacramento Bee reports (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 12/14).

Background

The Legislature during its ongoing special session on health care is supposed to be considering additional funding for such programs, but so far no progress has been made (California Healthline, 12/11).

Meanwhile, a bill (SBX2-4), co-authored by state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), would enforce a 10% rate increase for providers who treat such individuals. However, Democrats have stalled the legislation.

Calif. Republicans Make Rare Appeal for Increased Spending

California Republicans typically criticize social services spending, the Bee reports.

According to the Bee, they might be throwing support behind a funding increase for developmental disability programs to:

  • Show support for the Lanterman Act, a series of legislation spearheaded by former Assembly member Frank Lanterman (R) during the 1960s and 1970s that defined the rights of individuals with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities; or
  • Use the move as a bargaining piece in the ongoing debate over whether to raise taxes to support Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program (Sacramento Bee, 12/11).

In a release, Nielsen said, "Increased access to care should be a budget priority," adding, "Nearly 50 years ago, the state made a promise through the Lanterman Act that children and adults with developmental disabilities would be cared for. This promise should be kept."

Meanwhile, state Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (Bakersfield) said, "Helping Californians with developmental disabilities must be the first item discussed in this year's budget before anything else" (Nielsen release, 12/10).

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