Dear Friends and Supporters,
I’m pleased to report that New Horizons met all the noted milestones for compliance with HCBS’s Final Rule. Although pushed back at the state level several times, the deadline for compliance is March 17, 2023. Truly this will be an ongoing project for all nonprofits in our field as we move towards community-based services and client (Member) driven services.
In some exciting news, New Horizons received a grant of $327K from the Windsong Trust to continue our work with students at the Los Angeles Unified School District. Our services, providing young adults with travel and employment training, will expand from 300 students this year, to over 1,000 in the coming years. Our goal is to help students become connected to programs like ours so that when they graduate, they have a clear path moving forward. The Windsong grant will also allow us to complete the NH Referral Guide, which will help to students and consumers to find resources in their community.
In other updates, our partners at Pathways to Advocacy presented the following information at our last Vendor Advisory Committee (VAC) that I thought you might find interesting:
- The Governor’s January budget has been introduced which was positive for the developmental disability community including maintaining the current schedule for provider rate increases and additional funding for service coordination for children 0-5. The Governor’s budget continues to support caseload growth. The Department of Finance also released a Budget Change Proposal for the Administration’s proposed Autism Services Branch which seeks to create six permanent positions within DDS to support the growing population of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ADS) eligible for regional center services.
- The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) publishes the Fiscal Outlook yearly in anticipation of the upcoming state budget process. The goal of the report is to help the Legislature begin crafting the 2023-24 budget. In the report, the LAO anticipates the Legislature will face a $24 billion deficit in the upcoming year. Based on their analysis, the state would also end 2023‑24 with nearly $22 billion in the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) – the state’s general‑purpose reserve. The report goes on to project deficits in future years as well ranging from $17 billion which will decline to $8 billion by 2026-27
Speaking of Advocacy, I, along with many of my fellow members of the California Disability Services Association, will be meeting in person with our legislators in Sacramento in early March. Our primary goal is to continue to support the Governor’s “hold harmless” budget related to our programs and services, but we’ll also have key talking points for other items that unite and support our community.
Wishing you all a wonderful end to winter as we look forward to a bright and hopeful spring!