Budget Committee Removes $1M Provision for Home for Developmentally Disabled Over Ties to Davis Contributor
A legislative budget committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to rescind approval of a $1 million appropriation for a private, not-for-profit home for the developmentally disabled amid questions about the facility's relationship to a campaign contributor of Gov. Gray Davis (D), the Sacramento Bee reports. The conference committee, appointed to resolve differences between state fiscal year 2002-2003 budget proposals approved last month by the Assembly and Senate, last Thursday had approved a "last-minute request" from the Davis administration to provide the funds for the Devereux Center in Santa Barbara. However, Republicans on the conference committee "pushed to overturn" the decision to include the funds for the Devereux Center in the budget proposal after the Bee reported that the facility has ties to Davis campaign contributor Steve Beneto. "It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever ... that somehow the state should be going in and supplementing wages in a private facility," Assembly member John Campbell (R-Irvine) said. Department of Finance officials defended the appropriation. "This has no relationship to any donor to the governor," Betty Yee, the department's chief deputy director, told the committee, although she could not "specify other instances in which private facilities received such funds." Beneto, a multimillionaire, has contributed $325,000 to Davis since 1999. In the past, he has "pushed for state support" for the Devereux Center and has "mentioned it to Davis" in the past. His autistic adult son resides at the facility (Smith, Sacramento Bee, 6/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.