The new legislative year is underway. Having consulted a crystal ball, or at least a coke bottle, I feel confident making the following prediction about the course of advocacy this year:
January: The first post of the year on Developmental Disability System Reform will post on or before the 22nd. This marks the traditional start of the Advocacy Calendar.
February: The 2007 A New Day California conference will promote a new approach to day services with a curriculum based on the assumption that change lags for want of public hectoring to encourage it. Various dignitaries and assorted charlatans will cure the disease but the symptoms will continue unabated. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will propose legislation to expand membership and stimulate activism at the California Rehabilitation Assocition (CRA.)
March: Many parts of the advocacy community will press for system reform, defined as funding increases.
April: Many parts of the advocacy community will press for system reform, defined as rate increases.
May: Upon release of the Governor's May Budget Revision and the "discovery" that costs and revenues are further out of balance than previously "thought." The advocacy community will press for ending the rate freeze, defined as system reform.
June: The budget will not pass by the constitutional deadline.
July: The budget will pass and will be okay except from an accounting standpoint.
August: Meetings will be held to develop a white paper on system reform.
September: Legislators will be educated on the needs of the system by advocates, then locusts.
October: There will be a vendor-organized conference based on the assumption that change lags for want of public hectoring of regional centers. Less luminous dignitaries and charlatans will address that deficit than will have at the ARCA conference.
November: An ILS agency Executive Director will turn 40 and wonder what's taking so long.
December: Meetings will be scheduled for the purpose of getting a head start on next year's advocacy and then postponed until February.