My name is Tamar; I have a child who is served by the regional center just like you. I am a volunteer board member, doing what I can to help, just like so many of you. We have an urgent issue that I want to share with you.
In 2015, a landmark ordinance to increase the minimum wage won approval from the Los Angeles City Council. This is going to be great for the wonderful people who help us everyday with our loved ones. No one deserves a livable wage more than these incredible people.
But here is the problem: Without action from the State to pay the increases in minimum wage, our providers are trapped without the funds to pay the new wages. I fear many who we depend upon are at serious risk of going out of business.
The State controls the payment rate for almost every service we receive through regional centers. The State Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has said, "Tough luck providers! We are not going to change rates to accommodate local minimum wages." This means our providers, who are already terribly under paid, have to find more money to make up the difference, or let people go, or close. Our providers are being hit hard by this now BUT in July of 2018 they will have to come up with $2.25 more per hour for almost all of their employees! Where will they get this money? I know they are miracle workers - but they are not magicians! They can't print their own money! What will happen? I don't know and neither do they!
The Lanterman Act requires our providers to accept the rates paid to them by the State for services to our children. They cannot raise their prices to stay alive. Only the State can raise their rates to obey the wage laws.
Assemblymember Chris Holden has introduced Assembly Bill 279 (Holden) to make the State do the right thing and adjust rates for our providers. But, the Governor is opposed to funding it. That will make it really hard to get through. Really hard, but not impossible if, Parent Power really gets fired up.
We count on our providers every day. The question is can they count on us now?
Are you ready to write letters? To make phone calls? To speak to the people you elected?
Will you join us and fight for our services?
1) Please reply to this note or send an e-mail to NLAemail@nlacrc.org
with your contact information so we can keep you informed and engaged. Send us your Name, Your Phone Number and your Zip code.
And, if you have time:
2) Personalize the attached letter
(and save it on your computer) and
then print it and mail it. Then forward a copy to NLAemail@nlacrc.org
Once we get your info, we will keep you in the know and in the battle!