Holden Pledges to Do More as State Funds for Developmental Disabilities are Budgeted

Published : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 5:07 AM

Local Assemblyman Chris Holden (D) said recent budget victories for the developmentally disabled represent a big step, “but that there is more to do.”

With passage and signing of the first state budget under Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Holden can point to his leadership in securing what grew to be $400 million for developmentally disabled service providers, as well as to having helped in the fields of speech pathology and music therapy.

Holden, along with other assembly colleagues, made a $200 million budget request for service providers to the developmentally disabled. Approval secured another $200 million in federal matching funds.

The money will go toward serving some 330,000 Californians living with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities, according to the assemblyman’s office.

“Thanks to the work of these service providers, people are now living, working and thriving as members of our communities and it is essential these service providers remain open and funded at appropriate levels,” Holden said in an Aug. 20 statement.

Holden also secured $3 million for speech language pathologist training in an effort to close the shortage of these professionals the state is currently experiencing.

That funding was also secured through a budget request, according to Holden spokesman Garo Manjikian. It will serve to expand training programs in the California State University system.

Signed by Newsome and enrolled, Holden’s music therapy certification bill, AB 1540, strengthens standards for practitioner certification as a form of consumer protection.

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