Save Your Services and Supports - Without AB 279 Local Community Providers’ Doors Will Close
What would you do if the local community organizations that provide services and supports to you or to your family member go out of business? The threat of many organizations that provide essential services and supports to about 88,000 people with developmental disabilities in Los Angeles County closing their doors is very real.
When you do the math, the numbers don’t add up. Due to local cities and counties, such as Pasadena and Los Angeles, enacting minimum wage laws to help local residents afford to live and work in their communities, these wages are now higher than the state minimum wage. And while all other businesses can adjust to this increase, community providers are not able to without the law changing. For a very simplified example, providers will receive $10 per hour wage reimbursement from the State but have to pay $12 per hour to their staff, so in one eight-hour day for one person they are short $16, add this loss over 50 staff, and in one day they are short $800, and in one week about $4,000. And for any organization, this funding gap is not sustainable, and can only result in one thing, providers going out of business.
There is a solution, and that is the passage of AB 279. The bill has been getting unanimous support, but it’s stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s suspense file. The bill needs Senator Ricardo Lara’s (Long Beach) support to pass out of his Committee so now is the time to contact Senator Lara and ask him to bring AB 279 out of suspension and allow his Committee to hear and debate AB 279, and vote to approve it to pass out of Committee. Let the Senator know how vitally important the work and support of your local community service providers is. View contact info for the Senator and talking points
If you happen to be in Sacramento on Thursday, August 30, show up to the rally being sponsored by Assemblymember Chris Holden from 10 to 11 a.m. on the south side of the Capitol where everyone gathered will be raising their voices and asking the Legislature to make sure service providers get rate reimbursements that account for local minimum wages.
Even if an end of summer road trip is not in the cards, you can still do your part as this bill is truly important to anyone and everyone that depends on community service providers for themselves or their family members. Contact your local Senator’s office, introduce yourself as a constituent, and say “I support AB 279 and I hope my Senator will too.” Senator Kevin de Leon represents Lanterman’s area and can be reached in Sacramento at 916.651.4024 and at his district office at 213.483.9300. And don't forget to contact Senator Lara and ask him to do his part to pass AB 279 out of his Committee. View contact info for the Senator and talking points
Service provider rates need to reflect local minimum wages or 88,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in Los Angeles County make wake up one day to find no one left to provide them with services and supports.