SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, took his fight to help California’s young adults impacted by various developmental disabilities to the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services.
Wilk requested $3.2 million dollars be included in the State Budget to expand eligibility from age 18, which is current law, up to an individual’s 22nd birthday. This change would allow young adults, who have not yet turned 22 years old, suffering from traumatic or acquired brain injuries to access services at Regional Centers.
“Science tells us the brain continues to develop until a person is 22 years of age, yet California law uses age 18 to determine eligibility,” said Wilk. “We are woefully behind modern science and it breaks my heart when I think of families with children who have incurred traumatic brain injuries as young adults and are unable to access vital Regional Center services because of an antiquated date in the law. Shifting the age of eligibility will not only match the federal definition, it will ensure that young adults with these types of injuries have the very best chance of regaining some semblance of normalcy.”
The federal government changed its age of onset definition from 18 to 22 a full 40 years ago to match modern science. Thirty eight states soon followed suit. If California were to follow the federal government’s definition, recent data shows approximately 400 Californians would become eligible for services the first year at a cost to the state of $3.2 million.
California’s Regional Centers specialize in providing community-based services that enable individuals with developmental disabilities, such as traumatic brain injury, or acquired brain injury, to achieve their full potential and highest level of self-sufficiency.
“I feel very strongly about this issue. While policy is often shaped by economics, we have an ethical obligation to ensure there is equity in how we provide support services to our developmentally disabled citizens, and that our definitions are founded in medical fact,” said Wilk. “The amount I am requesting is less than 1/10th of 1% of the Regional Center’s $5.5 billion annual budget but that small change would rectify a decades-long inequity in the law for many young Californians with developmental disabilities.”
The Legislature determines its final budget after the Governor releases his revised budget in May. Senator Wilk’s request will be considered at that time.
Due to an excessive heat forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley, the city of Santa Clarita will have its three branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library open as cooling centers beginning Tuesday, June 15.
Although they are still awaiting the autopsy results, Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau detectives said they do not believe at this time that foul play resulted in a body being discovered near Castaic Lake on Tuesday.
In an improvement from his critical, yet stable, status last week, the Los Angeles County Fire Department captain hospitalized at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is in “fair” condition, according to officials.
Following its selection by the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Southern California Chapter as a 2020 Project of the Year, the city of Santa Clarita’s Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park was recently named the Innovative Design of the Year Project by the APWA’s High Desert Branch.
Thinking about a career move? Jumping back into the job market after a challenging year? With the end of the pandemic in sight, people may be wondering about their next job prospects, career choices, or what's next on the horizon.