Written by: Greg deGiere, Public Policy Director at The Arc & United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration
The Assembly and Senate passed the bills to save our community services. The bills now to Governor Brown for his signature, which is certain.
As Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins said, “The passionate advocates for this funding should be proud of their persistence” – two years of persistent, vocal, united community advocacy.
The bipartisan vote on the key bill to provide the funding was 28-11 in the Senate and 60-16 in the Assembly. To find out how your assemblymember voted, click here. The Senate vote isn’t up yet, but the 28 “aye” votes were all the Democrats and two Republicans, Senator Huff and Senator Cannella.
If your senator and/or assembly member voted “aye,” please call them now to thank them. Click here to find them. If you talked to someone in their office before, call that person and let them know we don’t just complain, we thank them when they deserve it. And save their name and number; there will be more fights.
If your senator or assembly member is among those Republicans who for one reason or another felt they couldn’t vote for it, don’t hold it against them! The Republicans’ vocal support for months was a big reason why we got this far. And if they had tried to stop their fellow Republicans from voting “aye” today, they probably could have stopped them, which would have blocked the bill — but they didn’t.
This isn’t the last fight. As Assemblymember Mark Stone said to all his colleagues who voted for the package, “Stay with us next year, the year after that, the year after that, to protect this particularly vulnerable community.”
(Actually, we can’t even wait till next year. Today’s action will, for the most part, stop the deterioration of our community services, but we have some gaps to try to fill in the budget that will get adopted in June. Stay tuned.)
But for now, it’s time to celebrate.
And thank you for your advocacy.