Catch up on CA Early Start Outreach Efforts; EI Legislation; Tech Federal dollars, etc

Catch up on CA Early Start Outreach Efforts; EI Legislation; Tech Federal dollars, etc

Outreach Efforts for CA. Early Start:
Senator Mike McGuire’s PSA for 50th Anniversary Week of the Young Child, Early Signs and CA Early Start – thanks to Michele Rogers, IDA Policy Committee for arranging - more info

April 7 - Presentation to LA County Child Care Planning Committee - CA Early Start. Materials posted on Planning Committee – more info
Please check out DDS website: Early Start materials - Reasons for Concern brochure, etc.

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CA Early Start Outreach Resources

CA Early Start Outreach Resources

Additional IDEA Funding Coming:
Thank you's in order for our Federal Legislators who voted for the American Rescue Plan Act. It included a one time stimulus funding for IDEA of $2.5B. It will be split $250M for Part C and $200M for Part B.

Our California Senators, Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla voted in support. To see how your Congressional representative voted click here

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CA Senate Budget Committee #3 Hearing

CA Senate Budget Committee #3 Hearing

Tuesday, February 22, 2021- 1: 30PM and related Policy Activities

Posted 2.23.21
Budget Agenda topics: related to the Department of Developmental Services proposed CA. budget - Navigators $5.3M,Vaccine prioritization, Challenges during COVID-lessons learned, wages for direct support professionals- Minimum wage issues, and strengthening service coordination at regional centers- increase # of service coordinators. Relevant to Early Intervention programs - elimination of the suspension end date of rate adjustments. This impacts 805 and 116 service codes directly.

  • Step 1: Scroll down to "Committee Hearings"
  • Step 2: Scroll down to "Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services"
  •  Step 3: Click on "Watch Hearing" for livestream video or "Listen" if you want audio only

Note: to make public comments please see below to make public comments by phone.

TO LISTEN ONLY - CALL-IN LINE - To listen only, but NOT testify, for this hearing in Room 3191:
Call-In Listen ONLY Line: 1-888-808-6929 Access Code: 7362833.  [listen only]

Upcoming Meetings and Policy Events:

2/26/21- IDA's Early Intervention Temperature Survey due
If you are providing Early Intervention services in CA, please take a moment to complete.

Early Intervention Policy Update Group available as part of IDA Listens, 2/27/21
Register Here

3/2-3/3 - CA Part C and Part B meeting notice more info

3/3/21 - CA. Advisory Vaccine Committee, 3-6:00PM more info

Save the date: "Building Relationships with Your Elected Officials" with Roxy Ortiz, Thursday March 11th- 1:00-2:30PM  
Register Here

Fran Chasen and Annie Cox,
IDA Policy Co-Chairs

Important Updates for Early Intervention

Important Updates for Early Intervention

Good news for 805,116,520 Program codes:
Rate adjustments approved by the Federal Government as indicated in AB79 link here through 12/21.

  • Service Code 805: Infant Development Programs; 8.2% rate increase
  • Service Code 116: Early Start Specialized Therapeutic Services; 5% rate increase
  • Service Code 520: Independent Living Programs; 8.2% rate increase

In the January Governor's proposed budget is the continuation of these and other rate adjustments through December 2022.

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Updates on COVID-19, Surveys to Complete

Updates on COVID-19, Surveys to Complete

IDA is following up with its June survey with this " Taking a Temperature of the EI field". Our goal is to collect some data about how providers and the families we are serving are faring during this challenging period of Covid-19.
Please take a moment to complete the short survey. SURVEY  

We will be sharing this information with legislators, collaborators, related departments , etc. We see this as an opportunity to have the voices of Early Intervention heard in the places where decisions are being made and to foster communication in our field.

In January IDA will be hosting a series of virtual focus groups for EI providers to address their concerns, challenges and successes.

Thank you for your answers, your feedback is important to us.

Federal Update:
Congressional leaders (more information) Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 | USAGov announced a bipartisan, bicameral COVID relief and omnibus appropriations deal. The deal includes $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2021 and $900 billion for COVID relief.
Minimal actions were included as suggested by many supporters for the Disability Community :
  • Dedicated funding for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to serve people with disabilities in their homes and communities and provide better wages and support for the direct support professional (DSP) workforce was not included.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs through designation as essential workers was not included.
  • Paid leave and sick days for all caregivers were not included in the emergency paid leave provisions. The legislation extended tax credits available for businesses to cover paid leave, but it eliminated rules about when businesses must provide leave and did not extend the tax credits to cover all caregivers as the pandemic continues.
  • Economic impact payments for all people with disabilities. While the bill does include a one-time $600 payment per adult and child under the age of 17, it does not include any payment for dependents who are over the age of 17. This excludes more than 400,000 individuals who claim adults with disabilities as dependents.* The ARC
Be Safe, Care enough to follow Health Department Guidelines to address COVID surge

The numbers do not lie! Recent information from the Department of Developmental Services shows the dramatic increase in COVID-19 identified consumers. EI programs should be reporting to their local Regional Centers any consumers and staff having COVID in addition to their local health Department.
Figure 1 - Number of Regional Center Consumers Newly Reported at COVID-19 by Week- CA Department of Developmental Services , 12/2020

Good news is that a vaccine has been approved and is becoming available.
Vaccine distribution is complicated.  Direct support staff for home and community-based services, including regional center services, IHSS, home health, ICFs, and family caregivers are in tier 2 of Priority 1A for vaccine distribution. Check with your local health department regarding timelines for availability click here for current information

The California Department of Public Health has published a schedule for the top level, Priority 1A. Medical staff, staff and personnel in nursing facilities and other similar settings are located here. more information

Priority 1B is still being discussed by CA. Community Vaccine Advisory Committee. Individuals with disabilities are NOT included in Priority 1B. Discussions about this priority level have mostly revolved around essential workers, including agriculture, education and child care workers. IDA joins the Arc of California and other organizations acknowledging that individuals at greatest risk of serious illness or death should also be included in Priority 1B.

If you would like to submit public comments to the Community Vaccine Advisory Committee you can email them to [email protected].
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Access Information:

  • English Toll free: 844-721-7237
  • English Access Code: 2243784
  • Spanish Toll-Free: 877-402-9753
  • Spanish Access Code: 1424990
  • Live stream via YouTube


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Before 2020 Leaves - Here are a few more EI items

Available to EI Families and Programs in need of PPE equipment? Contact your local Regional Center for masks (Children sizes), sanitizer, etc.

Report: If a child, family member on your caseload, staff identifies as positive please contact the Service Coordinator. DDS is keeping track of these statistics in addition to the local Department of Health.

Addressing Early Start Child Find and Referrals:
The Department of Developmental Services has developed a new pathway brochure for families to assist accessing Early Start. They have also released a revised Early Start Healthcare Provider Brochure. click here

Revised Early Start Info graphic - The Early Start Community (
For more information regarding Early Start services and referrals, please contact the Early Start BabyLine at 800 – 515 – BABY (800 – 515 – 2229) or [email protected].  

Regional Center Early Start Intake and Family Resource Centers: Regional Center Early Start Intake and Family Resource Centers : CA Department of Developmental Services
Q&A Extension of EI Services: Have been extended to January 2021
Frequently Asked Questions click here

DS Task Force Meetings to add to your calendar:

DS Task Force Meeting to Discuss Workgroup Recommendations
Thursday, December 17, 2020
2:30-4:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing your link to join the Zoom webinar.

Oversight, Accountability and Transparency Workgroup
Monday, December 14, 2020
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Please register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing your link to join the Zoom webinar.

Due December 18th - Have you shared with families? Survey

Holiday Cautions: Some words from DDS
Holiday Gatherings (

Community Vaccine Advisory Committee more information

  • California Budget -"With New Deficits Looming, California Will Weigh its Options for Allocating a Large Revenue Windfall" more information
  • After Reaching the Lowest Child Uninsured Rates in CA history , Children losing their Health Coverage. more information
  • Dual Language Learner Recommendations: more information
  • Ensuring Whole-Child well-being as a foundation for learning. more information
Soon there will be a "Vaccine Finder” where you can check out where vaccines will be available according to tiers.
Upcoming meetings:
  • Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020
  • Monday, Dec 21, 2020
  • Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021
  • Saturday, Jan 20, 2021
  • Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021
  • Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021

You can provide written comments directly to the committee or to the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) agency and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) by sending comments to:
[email protected]  

Upcoming events:
Add January 25th, 2021 to your calendar: IDA 6th Annual IDA Policy Update. Register Here

Wishing you safe, healthy holidays for you and your families on behalf of the Infant Development Association. We look forward to working with you in 2021.

Fran Chasen and Annie Cox
IDA Liaisons

DDS Releases Additional Extension Directives and Monthly Rates and Applicable Services for Alternative Non-Residential,etc.

New Directives from the Department of Developmental Services have been released
The Dec. 1 extensions on Waiver on Half Day Billing, Early Start Services, Req. Waived due to Covid 19 and Additional Guidance - CA Department of Developmental Services

We have heard that the rates are to be released shortly to the Regional Centers directly and then to providers. Alternative Services rate is projected to begin on January 1, 2021. Details in December 2 Directive. See above DDS Directive link.

Do not forget the Self Advocate and Family survey - Due 12/15 - Self-Advocate and Family Survey ( Please share with your families- in a variety of languages.

DDS Training grant awarded: Technical Assistance Contract awarded | more information

Good source for COVID | more information

URGENT NEEDS OF DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNER CHILDREN AND FAMILIES - Dual Language Learners • Advancement Project California

CA Master Plan on Early Learning and Care:
Master Plan released - Summary and Complete versions
Save the Date:
IDA Listen -  December 19, 9:30am - 10:30am - Opportunity to participate in added Policy Focus Group on Impact of current changes on Infant Development Program, Sign up here

Monday, January 25 - IDA 6th Annual Policy Update - Hear updates, ask questions on state and federal items related to CA Early Start and Early Care and Education

Annie Cox and Fran Chasen
IDA Liaisons

DDS Survey, Directives, National Children's Day, etc.

DDS Survey: Please share with your families.

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) invites you to complete this self-advocate/family member survey to help us understand how COVID-19 has impacted our community and changed your services. It will be online till December 18th. DDS, regional centers, and service providers are working on new ways to safely support you. Completing this survey will identify what’s working, what’s not, and what is important to self-advocates and families.

The survey below includes fifteen questions and is available in 10 languages. DDS will share the combined information from all responses on its website.


Once you click on the survey link above, you have the option in the top right corner of the page to select alternative languages from a drop-down menu where it says “English.”

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DDS Latest Directive: Monthly Alternative Rates not till 12/1/20

DDS Latest Directive: Monthly Alternative Rates not till 12/1/20

Today, the Department of Developmental Services released an..... "Update of Monthly Rates for Alternative Nonresidential Services" indicating that providers shall continue to follow the methodology and rules outlined in the August 31,2020 Directive for September and October 2020." The monthly unit rates for Alternative Services will become effective December 1, 2020." Check the California Department of Developmental Services website for additional information.

Prior DDS Briefing:
Alternative Services: Provider Briefing on Monthly Rates
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Presentation more information
Payment Rate Methodology more information
Methodology Examples more information
Meeting Recording with Audio Transcript here (Available till October 30)

Provider Informational Updates: A series of four symposiums highlighting examples of real-world service delivery innovations.
October 28 - 4:00PM - Focus on Adult Services
November 4 and 12 - Check here

CA Early Start - Child Find and Referral Information: Please review the attached materials and share with your local medical, health, Early Care and Education Community partners. Remind them that CA Early Start is open and serving families and their children.

The Early Start Community Flyer: An informative flyer for families who may have a concern about their child’s development.
Community Resources Infographic  (English) (Spanish)   
Early Start also has a variety of additional multilingual brochures, booklets, publications, and other free resources that are available for parents, professionals, and others.

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Announcements from Department of Developmental Services

Announcements from Department of Developmental Services

Alternative Nonresidential Services and the Methodology for Calculating Monthly Payment Rates
On October 14, the Department of Developmental Services shared information on Alternative Nonresidential Services and the Methodology for Calculating Monthly Payment rates. Materials from the training can be found here under the “Alternative Services” tab. The recording will be posted tomorrow. Live stream video is available on the DDS YouTube channel here:

Prior to sharing rates with providers Regional Centers have an opportunity to meet with DDS and Representatives from Burns & Associates during the week of October 19th. Stay tuned for your appointment with your Regional Center for a discussion of your program rates - Alternative.

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Directives (Extensions) Released by Department of Developmental Services

Directives (Extensions) Released by Department of Developmental Services

New Extension dates on all COVID-19 related Directives have been distributed by the Department of Developmental Services. Please look them over - more information

Directive 01-061520- Extension of Early Start Services - waves Early Start Services ending at age 3 till November 12, 2020.

Regional Centers have posted information on their websites. Many are hosting zoom calls with Vendor Committees and providers to address the issue of identifying program services as traditional and or alternative. Your Regional Center is requesting new contract information due 11/1/10. To assist in the process there is a Alternative Services FAQ's more information.

Department of Developmental Services Postponed:
System & Fiscal Reform Workgroup
Service Access & Equity Workgroup
Check here for updates

2020 CENSUS - extended to 10/31
Have you responded yet? - click here 

Vote - California Ballot information is available in 18 languages. Check out to get a ballot.

Registration to vote until 10/19/20 - more information

Election is November 3, 2020

Pathway for Symptom and exposure screening for ECE and K-12 - Tool
more information

Largest Children Study of COVID-19 2020 - more information

Early Start Outreach- "Accessing Early Intervention Services", Annie Cox, L.A. Parent-October 2020 more information

Early Start Information - 1-800-515-BABY Families can reach out here as well as Family Resource Centers more information

ECTA Center - Video -Provider and Educator Use of Technology more information

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Try Screaming

I drove down to the ELI office today, looking at the red sun and the smoke in the air, and I couldn’t help but think…really? Again? And again?

If 2020 were a movie, I think this is the point where we would expect our hero to give a heartfelt pep talk, and together we would all rally our remaining strength and cross that finish line to victory.

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Early Start Town Hall 9/3/20, Alternative Non-Residential Services Directive replaces Proposed changes to Title 17 Regulations

Early Start Town Hall 9/3/20, Alternative Non-Residential Services Directive replaces Proposed changes to Title 17 Regulations

Sign Up for Early Start Town Hall - Thursday, September 3, 2020
5:00pm - 6:30pm

Agenda: Alternative Services and Early Start  The focus of this meeting is to:

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Upcoming DS Task Force Meetings and Town Hall-Alternative Delivery of Non Residential Services

Upcoming Department of Developmental Services Meetings

DS Task Force Monthly Check-In meeting on Thursday, August 27, 2020, from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The conversation will include COVID-19 related updates and discussion.
Meeting information:
Thursday, August 27, 2020
9:00 – 11:00 am
Please register in advance for this webinar. Register Here
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

System & Fiscal Reform Workgroup
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Please register in advance for this webinar. Register Here
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Service Access & Equity Workgroup
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Please register in advance for this webinar. Register Here
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Input on Alternative Delivery of Non-residential services Regulations: 8/25; 8/26; 8/28
DDS has scheduled a series of three (3) Zoom “Town Hall” presentations to seek input on the emergency regulations for the alternative delivery of nonresidential services option. DDS will provide an overview and invites technical questions, concerns and recommendations for operationalizing the new model. The same presentation is being given on all three dates to accommodate as many schedules as possible. Click here for flyer
The emergency regulations and corresponding Notice and Finding of Emergency (NOFE) may be accessed on the Regulations page of the DDS website. Comments should be sent simultaneously to DDS and the Office of Administrative Law at [email protected] and [email protected] no later than August 26.

As shared in IDA's 8/19/20, Department of Developmental Services is offering input opportunities to the public regarding the proposed changes to Title 17 regulations in an Emergency. The goal is to have them in place for September 1. Services are optional and may not be permanent.

Many pieces are still being clarified:

  • It has been announced to alleviate additional burden for RC and providers, Burns & Associates are determining the average billing per code. Minimum wage requirements and the 8.2% rate increase will be considered.
  • Monthly billing - either by consumer or the service code
  • Keep all records for possible future audit.
  • Deadline for consumer meetings prior to September 1 is agreed upon as unreasonable. Suggestions for a meaningful and individualized process are being looked for with a time frame ( 30-60 days)
  • Program certification - process to be decided upon

ACTION STEPS | Voting and Census:

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DDS Releases Proposed Title 17 Regulations-Vendorization; Voting; Census

Proposed Emergency Regulations - Title 17. Public Health Subchapter 2. Vendorization:  more info
The Department of Developmental Services recently released Proposed Emergency Regulations - Title 17. It is hoped that these "...regulations are necessary to enable individuals with developmental disabilities to receive their nonresidential services by alternative methods during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis". The retainer payments currently in place end August 31, 2020.

Check with your local Regional Center, click here for information. Several have already set up meeting times- for example, San Diego/Imperial County Regional Center has one set for August 20 from 10-Noon. zoom link

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Participate in IDA Policy Survey-Additional Resources for Early Intervention

IDA Policy and Advocacy Community of Practice Poll

The ultimate goal of IDA's Policy Committee is to improve the lives of young children and families by sharing recommended practices in the field of Early Intervention and influencing legislators' and policymakers' opinions and activities. Your input and participation are important to us! Please take a moment to answer this brief survey. 
Take Survey

ACTION - Federal Level: Disabilities are Left Out!

More Information

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IDA Re-entry Provider Survey, Tele-Intervention, DDS Directives

In response to discussions regarding re-establishing "Re-entry" plans by the Department of Developmental Services, IDA set out a Provider survey in June. One of IDA's roles is to give a voice for Infant Program providers. The attached results are from 317 programs - click here for results. Thank you to all who participated in sharing your viewpoints. The results of this survey can be used to continue discussions about the importance of having a transition plan with financial supports.

To assist the field in learning more about Tele-Intervention, IDA hosted several recent events to share information related to this service methodology (More Information).

  • Latest Directives from Department of Developmental Disabilities include (More Information)
  • July 17th - Providing and Claiming for Nonresidential Services during the State of Emergency - Announces extension of retention payments to 8/31/2020; outlines an Alternative Service Delivery Framework; Technical Assistance and Training supports for Providers and Regional Centers in meeting consumers' needs and Future Steps.
Have you completed your Census Form yet?

Thanks for Speaking Up!

Fran Chasen and Annie Cox
IDA Policy Liaisons

CA Budget Signed Monday!


Monday Governor Newsom placed his signature on the CA Budget (SB74) for 2020-2021. Press release It included the rate adjustment (8.2%) for Infant Development Programs. All your hard work paid off.

"Supplemental Rate Increases for Additional Service Codes—$18 million ($10.8 million General Fund) in 2020-21 and 2021-22 to provide supplemental rate increases for Early Start Specialized Therapeutic Services, Infant Development and Independent Living Services. This approach is consistent with the supplemental rate increases included in the 2019 Budget Act. The increased funding for the three services will be suspended on December 31, 2021. The suspension will be lifted if the Administration determines through the 2021 Budget process that there is sufficient General Fund revenue to support all suspended programs." Page 63, Click Here

Please take a moment to send you’re thanks to:

Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins, Speaker Rendon, Senator Mitchell, and Assembly member Ting and your representatives. Their recent conversations resulted in collaborative effort to put a budget together that recognized the most vulnerable citizens in our state. Legislative information

Now CA is looking to the Federal Government for assistance to cover the projected budget trigger in the fall.



Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We aim to provide state Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs with the latest information on funding and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may wish to begin by reading the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. For specific questions pertaining to Part C or Section 619, contact your ECTA state contact. For Part B, K-21, contact NCSI.

More Information Here

Thank you for Speaking Up!

Fran Chasen and Annie Cox
IDA Public Policy Liaisons

CA Budget Moving Along

Governor Newsom and California Leadership - Senate President Pro Tem Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon released an agreed upon plan for a 2020-2021 Budget. It will be reviewed on June 24 at the Senate Fiscal Committee. It could be approved this week.
Of Note:
Of relevance to Infant Development Programs and Infant Development Therapies is the recognition of the Supplemental Rate adjustments effective January 2021.

No Uniform Holiday Schedule
No Cost Sharing fees
No Proposed 10% cut

June 24th - Standing Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Hearing on the Call of the Chair, Agenda | To Listen:

Department Developmental Services Task Force Meetings: discussion of "re-engagement" or "re-entry" plans

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
11:00am – 1:00 pm  (First half of meeting)
Break  (1:00pm to 2:00pm)
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm  (Second half of meeting)

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Department of Developmental Disabilities and Reach out to Governor Newsom on CA Budget

June 18th - "The Department is authorizing payments to nonresidential providers for consumer absences through July31, 2020. The Department continues to engage with service providers regarding options for coordinating, providing, and/or funding services differently. The Department will issue additional guidance regarding alternative approaches to service delivery.  (More Information)

June 15th - Extension of Early Start Services
"Early Intervention Services Act ( CEISA), that recognizes the transition to special education services for children at age three may be delayed as local schools face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any requirements of the California Early Intervention Services Act (CEISA), including Government Code section 95014(a), mandating early intervention services end at age three are hereby waived. This waiver only applies for children who have received Early Start services through regional centers and reached their third birthday during the COVID-19 State of Emergency" More INFO

Have you made your call to Governor Newsom?
It's just a simple call, saying you strongly support a Budget that protects the developmental disabilities service system and its funding.
Will you take the time to let Governor Newsom know that supporting the developmental disabilities service system matters to you?
The past few months have totally upended life, and the state's Budget is no exception. The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is deep. Over half a billion dollars in cuts to the system have been considered, affecting every way people with developmental disabilities are supported in communities of their choosing.

The good news is, the version of the Legislature's Budget Governor Newsom is reviewing doesn't hurt people with developmental disabilities or their families. It even helps to improve their lives in key ways. But the developmental disabilities services system may still face cuts. We need to make one last push this month to make sure that doesn't happen.

Governor Newsom needs to hear from you today . Between now and June 30th, he still has the power to make last-minute cuts to next year's Budget. The only way to make sure that doesn't happen is by telling him to you strongly support a Budget that protects the developmental disabilities service system and its funding.

What are some of the things at risk? Aside from preventing the half-billion dollars in cuts, there are a few other big things we're fighting for. The Budget on Governor Newsom's desk keeps extra funds for Early Start Therapeutic Services, Independent Living Services, and Infant Development Programs - money other services got last year. The Budget he has power over won't close access to services for any additional days. It's a plan that rejects new family fees (disability taxes). And starting next year, if your voice is heard, there will be a way to raise wages for direct support professionals as local minimum wages increase. There are also protections for other services, including Intermediate Care Facilities, In-Home Supportive Services, and some Medi-Cal health care benefits.

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