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September 15, 2019
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Legislation helps people with disabilities move back home

February 22, 2019

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation that would allow low-income people with disabilities to make the transition from skilled nursing facilities to receiving care in their homes, achieving the goal of getting residents in the most integrated community settings possible while saving the state millions of dollars.

“We know getting long-term nursing home residents back to their communities is the best thing for them, especially with seniors who wish to age in place,” said Sen. Dodd. “This bill achieves that important goal of returning folks of all ages to the least restrictive environments. At the same time, because it is so much more efficient to care for someone at home, the bill results in a substantial savings. It does the right thing for people with disabilities and it saves money. It’s a win-win.”

Senate Bill 214 would establish the Community Living with Choice, Independence and Dignity Act of 2019. It allows an existing program, California Community Transitions, to continue if federal funding expires in Sept. 2020. The program started in 2007 has successfully transitioned 3,629 from institutional settings, for an average savings of $60,000 per person per year. The bill would direct the state Department of Health Care Services to continue the program with federal matching funds, if available. It would also authorize the use of state money and require the department to seek partnerships with local jurisdictions to secure complementary funding.

The bill is co-sponsored by Disability Rights California and East Bay Innovations.

“We’re appreciative of Sen. Dodd’s leadership in authoring this bill so we can continue to provide these important services,” said Tom Heinz, East Bay Innovations’ executive director. “California Community Transitions opens up the world again for people who have been trapped in institutionalized settings so they can return to a life of dignity and choice.”

“California Community Transitions is a critical program for ensuring Californians can live in their homes and communities instead of institutions,” said Deb Roth, legislative advocate for Disability Rights California. “SB 214 will keep the program alive.”

Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.