June 2015 Newsletter
Join me for one of my community coffee meetings. These informal get-togethers allow people with questions or concerns about state issues to meet with me for a one-on-one dialogue.
Community Coffee with Senator Jim Beall
Friday, July 17; 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The Coffee Cup, 3477 McKee Road, San Jose
Please be aware that because of the popularity of these coffees, your time with me may be limited in order for me to meet with everyone. The meetings are on a first-come, first-served basis.
To enable my staff to appropriately budget time for the individual meetings, please RSVP, click here.
MEDICARE AND LONG-TERM CARE FORUM
The number of Silicon Valley residents people 65 years and older is projected to grow by 45.4 percent by 2025. More and more of us will be placed in the position of assisting aging parents either by searching for care providers or helping to manage their health care.
That's why I am sponsoring a Caregiving Resources Forum on Saturday, July 11; 9 a.m. to 11 a.m; Los Gatos City Hall chambers, 110 E. Main St. To RSVP, please click here.
This forum is structured to help families and seniors understand long-term care insurance options, Medicare benefits, and how to obtain care-giving assistance and resources.
Scheduled speakers include Margaret Wilmer, Director of Community Health and Older Adult Services at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, and Medicare expert Connie Corrales, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Director at Sourcewise, formerly known as Council on Aging Silicon Valley.
THE BUDGET AND SPECIAL SESSIONS
Just weeks ago, the Legislature and Governor Brown agreed on a $115.4 billion budget that reduces state debt, sets aside more for the rainy day emergency fund, and continues to invest in education.
- Pumps $68 billion into schools, raising the per pupil spending to over $10,000, a 15 percent jump in just two years.
- Deposits $4.6 billion into the emergency rainy day fund and dedicates another $1.9 billion to whittle debt.
- Allows 15,000 more students in the University of California and California State University system to attend and graduate on time.
- Sets aside $2 billion for water conservation, recycled water, storm water capture, and more.
But some issues require further discussion such as the financing of road repairs, health care, and services for people with developmental disabilities.
This unfinished business will be addressed in two special sessions called by the Governor.
As the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, I have often spoken about dire need to take action on the state's $59 billion in deferred road maintenance.
At the beginning of this session, I introduced SB 16 to not only pay for repairs to our crumbling state roads and highways but also for streets under local government jurisdictions. During the special session on transportation, I will be serving as chairman of its Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee.
I am also highly concerned about the state's failure to properly fund the Lanterman Act, which guarantees 280,000 Californians with developmental disabilities the right to services and supports so they can lead independent lives.
Over the past decade $1 billion in cuts to the Department of Social Services, combined with the continual denial of cost-of-living adjustments, has forced 435 community care homes to close since the beginning of fiscal year 2011-2012, displacing almost 2,300 people with developmental disabilities. Programs serving this population have also been hard hit by the dearth of funding.
Unless there is an increase is approved, I believe the state will see a dramatic reduction in care providers, putting thousands of lives in jeopardy.
This year's budget has made room for our schools, universities, children, and, yes, even our prisons. I truly believe there is enough room for California's most vulnerable population - our people with developmental disabilities.
Sixty-seven legislators have signed a letter that I authored early this year urging the Governor to approve a 10 percent increase for care providers and regional centers.
We must keep alive the promise of the Lanterman Act - it's the law.