Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Inclined to agree

When meeting the obligations of the community-based system is projected to cost more than the budget allocated, the Department of Developmental Service (DDS) is required to file a "deficiency request" with the legislature to request an appropriate additional amount. In January, DDS submitted such a request for the current year.

Senator Dennis Hollingsworth, a member of the Senate subcommittee to which DDS' request was presented sent a letter to the rest of the subcommittee stating his opposition to roughly two thirds of the request because it was not accompanied by any attempt at reform.

I don't know if Senator Hollingsworth and I would agree on what reform means, but I agree with him that this system has proven we will not spend our way to excellence. That war is lost whether we continue to have battles or not. If the community won't fight for reform with the same vigor that we've fought for money, the "reform" will be a familiar, unconstructive, unproductive, inefficient, damaging, depressing and/or diabolical one like the Purchase of Service Sandards of the past which will damage the lives of indivuals without saving money. Better to ask for a leaner, more person-centered support system focused on adding value to the lives of people with disabilities with less regard for the institutions involved.

We can win that war, if we'll fight it, because excellence, unlike the current system, is sustainable.