There's so much going on in our efforts for advocacy and the reactions of our communities, we hope this page helps to serve more information to let you know what it is that is currently happening. There's always an effort we're trying to push with issues, agenda, campaigns, political bill, events, and more.
December 12th, 2018 CFILC Statement on Restraints & Seclusion
It's been nearly a week since news outlets began reporting on the devastating tragedy of a disabled student who lost his life while at school in El Dorado Hills, California. Restraining a human being, a student, to the point of death or for any reason is unacceptable. We, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), are deeply saddened and dismayed to learn about the death of Max Benson, a student with autism from Guiding Hands School on November 28. The information circulating about the incident reminds us that our advocacy to end restraints and seclusion needs to be prioritized.
CFILC, a membership organization of 22 Independent Living Centers, we believe that all students should be provided with care, dignity and respect. Restraint and seclusion is not the answer. AB 2657 (Weber), sponsored by Disability Rights California (DRC) and passed by Governor Brown this year is another step towards ending such horrible practices. CFILC applauds DRC for it's efforts and will continue to work towards eliminating restraints and seclusion to keep all students safe in school…Continue reading more on CFILC Statement on Restraints & Seclusion… Petition to Save Net Neutrality December 5th, 2017 CFILC Fact Sheet: AB 763 (Salas) Independent Living Center Funding July 19th, 2017 CFILC Letter of Support: AB 1665 (Garcia) Telecommunications: Internet for All Now Act April 10th, 2017 See all Issues for CFILC…
Public Policy PerspectivesMay 23rd, 2018 • Henry J. Contreras, CFILC Public Policy Director
Governor Brown Seeks to Bolster His Gubernatorial Legacy: "No Budget Deficit Left Behind"
Ever since Governor Jerry Brown released his first Governor's Budget of his third term in 2011, he has carved a path strongly leaning in favor of fiscal restraint. There really were very few options at the time because California and the nation were still facing the crippling aftereffects of the Great Recession.
The Governor inherited a $27 billion state budget deficit, so he emphasized spending belt tightening and painful program cuts. This approach frustrated health and human services consumers and advocates because he prioritized state debt retirement from prior fiscal years. He also resisted any meaningful restorations of spending cuts.
It is clear that his final 2018-19 budget seeks to end the pattern of outgoing Governors leaving their successors with budget deficits. Indeed, at the end of his second term in 1983, he left Governor George Deukmejian with a $1.5 billion deficit and Deukmejian did the same for his successor, Governor Pete Wilson.
More recently, former Governor Gray Davis left Arnold Schwarzenegger with a huge deficit that he tried to balance with borrowing money to fill the gap. This just made the economic situation worse and directly led to the huge 2011 deficit. So, the Governor is well aware that leaving budget deficits to one's successor, usually during an economic downturn, is practically a tradition.
Now that the "May Revisions" updating the current state fiscal outlook have been released, this likely explains why Governor Brown plans to use the higher-than-projected $8 billion revenue increase over his January 2018 budget estimates to retain the spending wall. He proposes to set aside these additional revenues to build up the state "Rainy Day" reserve, pay down debt, and to make one-time infrastructure investments.
Asserting that we've gone through the longest economic recovery in modern history, he argues that an economic downturn is inevitable. "This is the time to save for our future, not make pricey promises we can't keep. Let's not blow it now," he announced.
In contrast, many legislators are convinced that there's plenty of room for investments in health and human services. Among other things, they support ending the prohibition on food stamps for SSI/SSP recipients and a $100 monthly increase in SSI/SSP grants for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Senate Budget Committee Chair, Holly Mitchell, is committed to increasing funding for seniors, the poor, and people with disabilities. "We are investing again in areas that we value, that we know are important, that we cut when the state was broke. Now that the state is $8 billion more in the black than we were 8 years ago, it makes sense that we reinvest in those programs.…
The lines are now drawn in the sand: continued fiscal restraint versus improving lives. Final budget negotiations will proceed over the next several weeks.
While it's difficult to predict what the final agreement will look like, now is the time for the disability community to hold state government accountable and to let legislators and the Governor know that more critical investments are needed.
Make your voices heard.
Henry J. Contreras
CFILC Public Policy Director
See all of Henry's Blogs on Public Policies…