BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Kevin de León, Chair SB 367 (Block) - Developmental centers: regional centers: cultural and linguistic competency. Amended: April 1, 2013 Policy Vote: Human Services 6-0 Urgency: No Mandate: No Hearing Date: May 23, 2013 Consultant: Brendan McCarthy SUSPENSE FILE. Bill Summary: SB 367 would require regional centers to report annually on issues relating to possible inequity in the access to services and efforts made by the regional center to address inequity. Fiscal Impact: The regional centers indicate that they will need additional staff to identify barriers to utilization of services and work with outside groups to reduce disparities in service utilization. The regional centers indicate that the total cost to undertake these activities is likely to be about $800,000 per year (General Fund). To the extent that there are barriers to the utilization of services and the regional centers are successful in reducing or eliminating such barriers to utilization, there could be increased demand for regional center services. The extent of this impact is unknown. Background: The Department of Developmental Services is responsible for coordinating care and services for about 250,000 people with developmental disabilities. The vast majority of these people are served by 21 regional centers, which are non-profit entities that contract with the state. The regional centers, in turn, contract with a variety of vendors to provide direct services to the developmentally disabled. In April 2012, the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders held an informational hearing to investigate equal access to regional center services for consumers with autism spectrum disorders. Following the hearing, a Taskforce on Equity and Diversity for Regional Center Autism Services was SB 367 (Block) Page 1 established to study and make recommendations to ensure that consumers of regional center services receive appropriate services, regardless of race, ethnicity, or other socio-economic factors. Based on the deliberations of the taskforce, staff of the Select Committee compiled recommendations and findings of the taskforce into a draft report. The 2012-13 developmental services trailer bill (AB 1472, Chapter 25 of 2012) requires the Department and the regional centers to collect and analyze data on the utilization of services by consumers with respect to age, race, language spoken, and disability. Proposed Law: SB 367 would require regional centers to report annually on issues relating to inequity in the access to services and efforts made by the regional center to address inequity. As a condition of a regional center's contract with the Department of Developmental Services, a regional center would be required to report on the regional center's efforts to address issues of inequity in access to services. The report would include: a description of the utilization of services by race and ethnicity of the regional center's consumers, information of barriers to utilization of services, information on steps taken to reduce barriers to utilization, and information on partnerships with community-based providers of services in underserved communities. Related Legislation: SB 158 (Correa) would require a demonstration program to provide improved services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders through the regional centers. That bill will be heard in this committee. SB 208 (Lara) would require any request for proposal that is prepared by the Department of Developmental Services or a regional center to include a section relating to issues of equity and diversity. That bill will be heard in this committee. SB 319 (Price) would require regional centers to collect and analyze data on consumers race and ethnicity and access to services. The bill would require regional centers to develop plans to reduce disparities that are found. That SB 367 (Block) Page 2 bill will be heard in this committee. SB 321 (Price) would require the Department of Developmental Services to establish contract guidelines and performance measures relating to cultural and linguistic competence. SB 555 (Correa) would require communications between a regional center and a consumer and his/her family to be in the consumer's native language. AB 1232 (V. M. Perez) would require an existing Department of Developmental Services quality assurance tool to assess the provision of services in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. That bill is in the Assembly Human Services Committee. Staff Comments: The recently enacted trailer bill requires the collection and analysis of data on the utilization of services with respect to the age, race, and ethnicity of consumers. This bill would impose additional requirements on the regional centers to identify any barriers to access by consumers and take steps to improve access to services. Press reports and findings of the Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders indicate that there are disparities in the utilization of services between racial and ethnic groups and that consumers of some ethnic groups are not accessing services they are entitled to under the law. To the extent that there are systematic disparities in the use of services and this bill improves access to services by consumers, there could be increased demand for services. The financial impacts of increased demand are unknown at this time.