A Message From JOHN C. BRAUER, M.A. President and CEO – May 2023

To A Wonderful Spring and Early Summer!

Hello Friends!

It’s May, which means it’s budget time again for both New Horizons and for the State. California Disability Services Association (CDSA), a statewide agency that provides advocacy and support to and for the disability community, reports that Governor Newsom released his May Revision to the 2023-24 state budget. California is facing a $32 billion budget shortfall, which is due in part to decreased tax revenue and higher utilization of programs such as Medi-Cal and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

There are a myriad of challenges to the May Revise, including the lack of progress on the federal debt ceiling, which could have a significant impact to California’s budget, a substantial portion of which comes from federally funded programs. Additionally, the state’s tax deadline was delayed, and an estimated $42 billion in tax receipts will show up later than in years past.

Despite these factors, we were thrilled to hear that the Governor announced that there will be no new “trigger cuts” from his January budget. Due to the “restraint and prudence” of prior budgets, Newsom claims that we are still in a position to “preserve, enhance, and protect programs we all hold dear.” Fortunately, for the most part, Department of Developmental Services (DDS) programs serving Californians with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) and their families seem to be among those held dear this year. For those of you who may have interest in learning more about the budget process, the California Budget & Policy Center have great resources, including their Navigating the State Budget Process overview budget process on masthead final template.indd (calbudgetcenter.org), a glossary of State Budget Terms,  Glossary of State Budget Terms – California Budget and Policy Center (calbudgetcenter.org) and their Guide to the State Budget Process, State-Budget-Process-Guide-Dec-2021-Final-.pdf (calbudgetcenter.org)

As for New Horizons’ budget, we are hard at work at creating a proactive plan of action that will allow us to grow the number of Members served, increase wages for staff, and expand our footprint in FY ’24. We’re now serving Members in Ventura County, and our growth into the Santa Clarita Valley and the Burbank/Glendale area is taking root. Additionally, this year we are working with over 300 students in school at LAUSD, and expect that number to reach over 1,000 in the coming years. FY ’24 is shaping up nicely, and I look forward to sharing more in our upcoming newsletters and reports.

Wishing you all a wonderful spring and early summer!

With gratitude,

John Brauer, CEO