Colleen Dodge’s and Wayne Miller’s May 9 letter about the closing of Aldea's supportive living program ("Save Aldea's Supportive Living Services program"), one of the agencies that provides services and supports to some of the over 330,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities highlights a significant issue: the shortfall between its costs and the reimbursement provided by the state via the Regional Centers.

There are many service providers in the Napa Valley. As a result of this shortfall, staff is difficult to find, waiting lists are long, people are going without services, and several, like Aldea's program, are closing.

The California Department of Developmental Services has just completed a study and produced a draft report that concludes that these agencies are underfunded by $1.8 billion. Senator Henry Stern, Assembly member Jim Frazier and Assembly member Chris Holden co-authored a request for an 8 percent increase in funding, approximately $290 million, to stabilize the system until that report can be finalized and reviewed. This increase was not included in Gov. Newsom’s revised budget, but the state legislature has until June 15 to review, discuss, and vote on a final budget to send back to the governor.

People with developmental disabilities – like autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy – need these services to be fully functioning members of society, and their service providers should be adequately and appropriately compensated. Please contact your state senator and assembly member to request the increase. It is sorely needed.

Jane Schoenfeld


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