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S.O.C.C.O. State President Karlton Levias Legislator Info

S.O.C.C.O. State President Karlton Levias Legislator Info

  • Mr. Karlton Levias, leads the S.O.C.C.O. organization with a great passion, and he is a true advocate for the disabled and developmentally challenged community, of California. Mr Levias is driven by his innate love and care of individuals, and his desire to permanently change the lives of the disabled population, within our society.

    Mr Levias gained first hand experience, as a youngster, within his family home. His younger brother was sadly diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and he frequently accompanied his brother to orthopedic hospitals, alongside his Mother, offering his support . Furthermore, Mr Levias sadly lost his step sister at the young age of 32, due to complications with her diabetes. She fell into a diabetic coma. Karlton had been a huge support to his sister and whole family, during this time.

    This affected Karlton deeply, but he decided to use his pain and grief as fuel to make even more of a difference. Becoming involved with S.O.C.C.O was a natural progression and being the president is simply the best way for Mr Levias to make a change. He holds an in-depth understanding of Community Care policies and knows exactly what is required for the providers and staff of facilities, to do the best job that they possibly can.

    The pressures and constraints that are felt by the families of disabled people, are at the forefront of his mind. Ultimately a major goal of his is to make the family unit as equipped and knowledgeable as possible so that we can all work together to provide care to those who desperately need it. He continuously works around the clock to make sure that there’s an endless amount of support and communication to anyone involved with S.O.C.C.O. He addresses all concerns.

  • Throughout the years, Mr Levias has consistently gone above and beyond by way of his charity work, and locally based groups of community enrichment and growth.
    For example, some years ago, he formed the New Life Empowerment Center-a non profit, aimed at bringing mis-led youth and lost souls back into Christianity, to give them a new lease on life and a great hope for the future, especially within gang affected neighborhoods.

    This also led to Mr Levias becoming a well respected spokesman on behalf of inner city youth, covering topics like conflict, gangs and even prostitution. His objective was to truly bring peace and raise awareness of the issues that certain areas have to face every day. He works as closely as he can with local law enforcement.

    Lastly…Mr Levias wishes to continue his journey and good work with S.O.C.C.O. and forsees a bright future for the organization.

    He is the voice for those who cannot be heard!

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LANTERMAN COALITION

Lanterman Coalition 2017-18 Budget Goals and Explanations

Prevent the loss of federal funds that would result from noncompliance with the new Home and Community Based Services rules.

The DDS community service system today depends on $2 billion in federal Medicaid funds annually. As ALL of California’s Medicaid funding is subject to change, given the new proposals at the federal level for block granting, per-capita allotments, or otherwise reducing available federal funds for health care financing, we must urge state budget deliberations regarding MediCal to include some recognition of the continuing need for sustaining the services in the DDS system in the future.

As the Lanterman Act is California’s unique program celebrated for stabilizing community living for more than 300,000 residents with developmental disabilities, preserving the use of federal funds is a direct offset to state general funds which would otherwise be needed for the same service supports if it disappears.

Please emphasize the importance of this funding in any deliberations state policymakers have in communicating with the federal government. ANY loss in federal funds will not only hurt the consumers involved but it will also preclude this state’s ability to comply with federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) regulations by the present deadline of 2019 or ever.

Restructure state and community-based agency responsibilities by: (a) expeditiously completing the closure of the developmental centers, and thus also recapturing federal funding currently suspended due to the inadequacy of the DCs; (b) providing timely and sufficient funds to assure community services are available to consumers moving out of the DCs; and (c) retaining state funds and assets currently devoted to the DCs and utilizing them for the community-based system.

The Lanterman Coalition continues to urge closure of the remaining DCs expeditiously, while keeping each individual’s health and safety central. These centers have lost federal funding, and the state General Fund has been forced to backfill these lost dollars. When transferred to the community, residents of DCs, by definition, will be eligible for federal funding, restoring federal participation in their care and support.

The Governor’s Budget anticipates a DC population of 760 residents at the beginning of the year, declining by 490 by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year. This translates into a cost of nearly $600,000 per person.

We support the transfer of the consumers into the community and the provision of whatever dollars are necessary to provide appropriate support in the community – significantly less than in the DCs. We also support the transfer of the entire DC budget allocation to the community to support these residents, address unmet community needs, and help cover the rising costs of existing community services and supports.

Guarantee funding required to comply with federal, state and local mandates.

Community service providers have no choice but to comply with state and local minimum wage increases and all other government mandates. Yet, while the state covers some of these costs through often cumbersome and expensive procedures, others go unfunded.

We ask legislators to adopt a simple mechanism to make providers whole.

Save community-based services that otherwise would close and would cost the state more to replace.

Rate freezes have locked into place the rates of programs across the board. There have been only sporadic and usually highly targeted increases, most often for wage/benefit increases and not for other unavoidable operating costs. Some programs are locked into very old rates and have seen mandate-driven and location-specific costs go up with no way to meet them.

While all programs are hard-pressed, some are far closer to the brink of failure than others. When programs fail, the lives of people they serve are severely disrupted. When they are transferred to other existing programs, or when new programs are created for them, the cost of service is often significantly higher to the state than if the original programs had been stabilized.

We support providing DDS with authority to permit programs on the brink of collapse to apply for relief and to negotiate rate increases sufficient to save the programs — rates no higher than the cost of replacement programs, including any increased transportation costs. Such authority would be more appropriate, clearer, and more expeditious than the current health and safety exemption, and would provide the state with a cost avoidance strategy.

Assure that the state selects a consultant for the 2019 rate methodology study who will incorporate the actual costs of delivering quality community services.

  • Transparency in the process. We urge a continued commitment to keeping the community closely apprised on the progress of this work, including rate-operating principles and procedures, not just through updates to the RFP on Cal e-Procure, but also via the DDS website.
  • Extensive community input opportunities. We need a dedicated committee of vendor representatives, consumer groups, family groups, advocacy groups, regional centers, worker representative organizations, and DDS officials to oversee the consultants’ work.
  • The principles for the new rate structure are developed with the disability community. We need to be actively involved in developing operating principles for the new rate structure and ask the Legislature to remain involved in the integration of these principles into the new rate structure.

Timothy Hornbecker
Chair
The Lanterman Coalition
2.17.17

Subject: URGENT – Lanterman Coalition 2017 Goals

Dear Lanterman Coalition Colleagues,

Governor Brown has released his budget, the LAO has released its budget analysis, the Legislature has started its budget hearings – and we are late starting out lobbying for what we hope to accomplish for our community this year.

A Final Draft of the coalition’s goal is attached. It is based on what we agreed on in our December meeting with changes we agreed on in our January meeting and some tightening of the language. I hope the five points are clear enough, our united influence is great enough, and we can get them to the subcommittees quick enough that the subcommittees will make these items on their DDS budget hearing agendas.

Please get your organization’s approvals for these five points ASAP! If any organization needs to be left off from the support letter, please let me know that too.

Thanks!

Tim Hornbecker
Chair, The Lanterman Coalition

FINAL DRAFT

2017 Lanterman Coalition Budget and Legislative Goals

Prevent the loss of federal funds that would result from noncompliance with the new Home and Community Based Services rules.

  • Realign state and community-based agency responsibilities by: (a) expeditiously completing the closure of the development centers, and thus also recapturing federal funding currently suspended due to the inadequacy of the DSc; (b) Providing timely and sufficient funds to assure community services are available to consumers moving out of the DCs; and (c) retaining state funds and assets currently devoted to the DCs and utilizing them for the community-based system.
  • Guarantee funding required to comply with federal, state and local mandates.
  • Save community-based services that otherwise would close and would cost the state more to replace.
  • Assure that the state selects a consultant for the 2019 rate methodology study who will incorporate the actual costs of delivering quality community services.

Proposed TBL to implement #4:

Section _______ is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code (Lanterman Act), to read:

  1. When a regional center vendor notifies the regional center director that a service program will close within six months due to inadequate rates, the director shall determine whether a rate increase is necessary to preserve the program at a cost to the state equal to or less than the cost of creating or expanding another program to provide the same services to the same consumers and, if so, shall notify the department. If the department concurs with the regional center director, the department shall increase the rates by the amount necessary to preserve the program, not to exceed the state set rate.
  2. All notifications and procedures pursuant to subdivision (a) are temporarily confidential. The regional center director and the department shall not reveal them to consumers, families, direct service professionals, regional center service coordinators, or the public until: (1) the vendor notifies consumers, families, employees or the public of a program termination; or (2) the department determines that a rate increase is necessary or that it is unnecessary. When (1) or (2) occurs, all records in the possession of the department or other state or local agency concerning section shall become public records.
  3. As used in this section, “the cost of the state of creating or expanding another program” includes cost increases necessary for transportation and other direct and indirect costs to the state.
  4. This section shall be known and may be cited as the Barbara Service Preservation and Cost Containment Act.