Sen. Dodd’s Elderly and Disabled Assistance Bill Clears Legislature
SACRAMENTO – The California Legislature has approved a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would expand a successful program allowing low-income seniors and people with disabilities to receive care in the safety of their own homes.
“We must continue to allow our most vulnerable the choice of staying in their homes to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus and also improve the quality of their lives,” Sen. Dodd said. “This program protects people who would be most at risk while saving taxpayer dollars that would be spent on outside care. It builds on my commonsense proposal from last year that was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.”
The California Community Transitions program has transitioned 4,300 people from institutional settings over the past 12 years for an average savings of $60,000 per person per year. Last year, Sen. Dodd wrote Senate Bill 214, which helped the program assist people during the pandemic. His follow-up legislation, SB 281, ensures California conforms with updates in federal law, expanding eligibility to even more people.
The bill is co-sponsored by Disability Rights California and East Bay Innovations. It cleared the Senate Tuesday after previously being approved by the Assembly, and heads to Gov. Newsom for his signature.
“Older adults and people with disabilities are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming critically ill, especially those individuals residing in a nursing home or institutional setting,” said Andy Imparato, DRC executive director. “Now more than ever it is vitally important that individuals who reside in institutional settings are allowed access to transition services through the vitally important California Community Transitions program to assist them to move back home and into the community.”
“In 2020, 14,500 low-income people with disabilities residing in California skilled nursing facilities communicated their desire to transition back into their own homes,” said Tom Heinz, executive director of East Bay Innovations. “Only a third were actually referred to agencies providing transition services through the California Community Transitions Program. The CCT program started in 2007, and is the only program that assists vulnerable people to transition home, which is less costly than institutionalized settings and improves quality of life. Because of inconsistent funding and policies on a state and federal level the CCT program has been on life support in recent years. Senate Bill 281, if passed, will provide much needed stability to CCT and enable more people to come home.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.