A message from Cynthia Sewell
New Horizons President/CEO
September 23, 2015
Dear Family and Friends:
I would like to thank all of you who advocated on behalf of a 10% increase in rates for service providers who work with individuals with special needs. This follow years of reduced and frozen government funding and the threat of looming costs that will be incurred from successive increases in the State and City of Los Angeles minimum wage.
Unfortunately, the funding for the 10% increase was not found this year. On Saturday, September 11, 2015 the legislature adjourned for the year. Facing stiff opposition to proposals for tax increases to fund the 10% fee increase to restore years of reduced rates, neither SBX2 2 (Hernandez) or ABX2 1 (Bonilla) were brought up for floor votes.
Both the Senate and Assembly will reconvene the second year of the legislative session on January 4, 2016. The special sessions will also continue into next year, unless officially adjourned earlier.
SBX2 2 called for an increase in cigarette taxes and a revision of the existing managed care organization tax that would help fund continued restoration of the 7% in services for all In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) recipients beyond June 30, 2016, and also provide in the 2016-2017 State Budget year increased funding for Medi-Cal providers from cigarette taxes, and about $230 million for developmental services.
ABX 2 1 would have imposed a tax of 5 cents per drink on certain distilled spirits served to customers in certain public establishments such as restaurants and bars and raised about $20 million for developmental services – though estimates of the revenue are not certain and could be higher or lower.
With no hope of any deal with legislative Republicans on the health care funding issues, the Brown Administration released a statement saying that continued opposition of health plans to a revised managed care organization tax proposal and continued strong opposition from legislative Republicans to any proposal to raise taxes was “deeply disappointing” and warned of reductions to health care spending.
We will regroup and continue our advocacy efforts in 2016. I will let you know what our next step is as soon as all the dust settles. In the meanwhile, my thanks to all of you that spoke up on behalf of our people with special needs.