Capitol Alert

AM Alert: As special session wanes, disability advocates fight for funding increase

Pete Amirani of Fair Oaks sweeps an elevator at the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center, part of the UC David Medical Center, on July 23, 2015. Amarillo works with InAlliance, a Sacramento nonprofit that provides services to people who have developmental disabilities and receives funding from the state.
Pete Amirani of Fair Oaks sweeps an elevator at the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center, part of the UC David Medical Center, on July 23, 2015. Amarillo works with InAlliance, a Sacramento nonprofit that provides services to people who have developmental disabilities and receives funding from the state. hamezcua@sacbee.com

With time running out on a special legislative session called to find new funding for health care, there is little indication of any progress. That’s bad news for advocates for the developmentally disabled, who argue that the state’s system of services for nearly 300,000 Californians has been driven to the brink of collapse by recession-era cuts, inflation and increases in the minimum wage.

This spring, they pushed unsuccessfully for a 10-percent boost to the rates paid to nonprofits and businesses who provide housing, employment and other assistance for clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. A more modest hike approved by the Legislature was rejected by Gov. Jerry Brown, who punted the issue to the special session.

The Lanterman Coalition, an umbrella group for the community organizations that make up California’s developmental care system, is in Sacramento today urging Brown to make their cause a priority. At noon, supporters will march from the Crest Theatre to the Capitol for a rally on disability services funding.

THE NAME GAME: Senate Bill 539, which would remove the names of Confederate leaders from California schools and public property, passed out of the Assembly on Monday. Now the bill from Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, begins its journey in the Senate with a stop in the governmental organization committee, 9:30 a.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol. The City of Fort Bragg continues to be nonplussed.

VAX ATTACKS: With a fundraising blackout period currently in effect in the Senate, Sen. Richard Pan is not able to raise money to fight a recall bid over his leadership on a mandatory vaccinations bill this session. In the meantime, others are stepping up to help the Sacramento Democrat. The William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club of Sacramento will host a “Stand With Pan” fundraiser, 5 p.m. at Chops on 11th Street.

READ MORE: Advocates for California disabled face uphill quest for more money

Recall election history bodes ill for Richard Pan opponents

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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