The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has produced a document entitled "Controlling Regional Center Costs." (You can click on the title of this post to download it or read it in your browser.) To my eye, the document is very carefully written not to give license for foolish cuts. Once you have read most of the proposals contained you would have to be as dumb as box of rocks to consider smart. Also, for those in the panicky state of fretting that this report represents an assault on the entitlement or a murderous conspiracy, it ought to be noted that some of the most favorably described cost control measures are preventive, such as investments in better dental care, expanding employment and affordable housing. I would give some laud and honor to the writers for careful wording.
This may be the first of a series of posts on this report, the next likely to deal with selected proposals but start with two questions:
Given the past experience of DDS reports and their influence on policy-making, is it likelier that advocates will pay too little or too much attention to this? The Service Delivery Reform report opened few doors in Sacramento but it has held a lot of doors open.
Why is socialism the only answer to reduce government spending? An ongoing frustration of mine is that all the virtues of the Lanterman Act as a mechanism for efficient, responsive care depends on innovation, creativity, liberty and choice. It continues to depress me that centrally defining, regulating and limiting what can be done is always the response of government, and frankly, of most of our advocates. We love to talk about innovation and creativity, never more than when we find some new way to instruct our neighbor.
And, friend Paul, I promise that none of the posts regarding this document, if there are more, will discuss or promote funding as a purpose or point. That's not what I do here, and really isn't what I do in Sacramento either.