April 21, 2015
SB 639 Update:
SB 639, which proposed the closure of Fairview and Sonoma Developmental Centers has been changed to a “2 year bill,” meaning there will be no further action on this bill this year. Here is an article from the Sonoma Press-Democrat, “Breathing room for Developmental Center advocates.”
Summary of VOR’s Testimony:
SB 639 is motivated by the typical fallacies associated with the demand and cost for specialized, licensed care facilities, such as Sonoma and Fairview Developmental Centers. To force fragile Californians from their chosen homes based on shortsighted myths associated with the cost of care places affected individuals at enormous risk of harm and potentially higher costs to California taxpayers.
Instead taking such a draconian approach – total closure – California lawmakers are instead encouraged to consider solutions which will better utilize Sonoma and Fairview for residents and nonresidents – disabled and non-disabled neighbors – while also increasing the Centers’ ability to serve as a safety net for individuals in community settings who are facing a temporary crisis or whose needs, due to aging or illness, have intensified beyond the ability of the community provider to safely accommodate them.
Positioning the Centers as one option of care a true continuum of care to accommodate the diverse and ever changing needs and demands among the disabled population, while expanding shared use opportunities for these beautiful campuses, is far more visionary, holistic, and reasonable than simply closing these necessary resources forever.