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SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Bonilla’s bill, ABx2-18, the Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act, which helps restore critical funding for developmental disability services (DDS) in California, was approved this afternoon by the Second Extraordinary Session Committee on Public Health and Developmental Services.  ABx2-18 creates a five cent charge per cocktail at any restaurant or bar beginning January 1, 2017. 

“Now is the time to reverse the trend of devastating cuts to our DDS services,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla (D-Concord).  “The over 280,000 Californians who are our friends, family and community members should no longer endure being stripped of vital resources such as transportation, respite care, along with independent and supported living programs.  These services are not only cost-saving to the state, but most importantly they are essential to the health and well-being of our developmentally disabled community.”

Over the years, the DDS community has experienced a $1 billion reduction in funding, which is nearly 25% of their total operating budget.  This long decline in funding has left both regional centers and service providers struggling to serve more people with fewer resources.  ABx2-18 will help restore this funding by simply raising the price of a cocktail at any bar or restaurant by a mere five cents per drink.   This will help ensure that California keeps its promise of the Lanterman Act, which was enacted to provide people with developmental disabilities and their families the right to receive necessary services in their community. 

“Approximately 24,000 children will leave our public schools and need services over the next three years,” continued Assemblywoman Bonilla.  “California has always been the nation’s leader for social responsibility and this very modest increase – a mere nickel – may be the difference of whether or not these children will receive the critical services necessary for their livelihood.” 

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.

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