Sacramento — The new fiscal year began on July 1 with a State Budget that provides increased funding for a variety of programs that support individuals with developmental disabilities. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021–22 Budget directs additional resources to sustain the 21 regional centers that help over 350,000 Californians with developmental disabilities. The Association of Regional Center Agencies applauds Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers for ensuring that programs that help Californians with developmental thrive have enhanced funding for services.
The network of regional centers serves as the official as the official point of entry to the State’s service system. In recent years, caseloads have grown as funding for this work remained unchanged, which created a serious strain as regional centers grappled with a significant service coordinator shortage, the loss of programming, antiquated technology, and more.
The new budget prioritizes funding for regional centers in this fiscal year and beyond by establishing the following:
• Starting in 2022, approximately $90M in funding to hire more service coordinators;
• A five-year phase-in of funding for the 2019 Rate Study to increase service provider payment rates;
• The restoration of social recreation and camp programs, which are particularly beneficial for diverse communities;
• A training and certification program for direct support professionals that recognizes the critical roles these individuals play in our system, as well as the value their skills; and
• Funding for technology improvements to that will support families’ access to their data.
“The new funds in this budget set the stage for enhancing the ability of regional centers and service coordinators to serve clients and address their individual and unique needs,” said Rita Walker, Board President, Association of Regional Center Agencies.
“We are deeply grateful for the long-term commitment the Legislature and Governor have made to our community, and their collaborative work to secure this funding. As these funds come into our system, they will help ensure the needs of people with developmental disabilities, and their families, are front and center,” said Amy Westling, Executive Director, Association of Regional Center Agencies.
For more information about ARCA and the regional centers, visit arcanet.org.