Schwarzenegger's Budget Plan Has Advocates Worried
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 1, 2003
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--Disability advocates in California are worried that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan would reverse a 35-year-old law which currently guarantees services for people with developmental disabilities.
Saturday's Sacramento Bee reported that the governor's budget proposal calls for suspending the Lanterman Act, which allowed for community-based services to be provided through 21 regional centers scattered across the state.
A spokesperson for Schwarzenegger's finance director said that the cost of providing those services has jumped from $600 million in 1998 to $1.7 billion this year -- a 166 percent increase in just five years.
The proposal would suspend the Lanterman Act and place a limit on the number of people served. This would mean that a waiting list for services would be established. The Department of Developmental Services would need to prioritize who would receive services and in what order.
Schwarzenegger has also proposed saving $250 million over two years by eliminating art and music therapy, equestrian therapy, camp experiences and respite care for Californians with disabilities.
"Advocates fear cuts to disabled in Schwarzenegger proposal" (Sacramento Bee)