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The 2020-21 Budget: Analysis of the Department of Developmental Services budget

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following report:

The 2020-21 Budget: Analysis of the Department of Developmental Services Budget

In this report, we evaluate the Governor’s proposed $9.2 billion ($5.7 billion General Fund) budget for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). We provide an analysis of four key new policy proposals in the DDS budget, the most significant of which is the proposal for $78 million ($60 million General Fund) to implement a new performance-based incentive program in the DDS system. Without prejudice to the proposal’s merits, we find that current conditions in the system—particularly funding challenges—are not conducive to the success of the proposed program and that the proposal appears to move the system away from the direction of implementing rate reform—a major interest of the Legislature over the last few years. We recommend the Legislature reject the proposal and instead consider the direction it would like to take the DDS system. For example, the Legislature may wish to pursue multiyear implementation of rate reform based on rate study findings. This would help the state fulfill its commitment under the Lanterman Act, address chronic problems in the system, and lay the foundation for a performance-incentive program in the future. Alternatively, the Legislature may wish to pursue a different path that would necessitate consideration of what changes should be made to the DDS system’s structure to reflect legislative priorities within available resources. We also assess the Governor’s proposals to provide supplemental rate increases to three additional service categories (we recommend approval), reduce Regional Center service coordinator caseload ratios for children ages 3, 4, and 5 (we withhold recommendation until more is known about the analytic rationale for the proposal), and expand safety net and crisis services (we recommend approval).

This report is available using the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4147?utm_source=laowww&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4147

This article was released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.