California Department of Rehabilitation FY 2020-2021 Budget Act Highlights

Department of Rehabilitation Budget

The Department of Rehabilitation’s (DOR) enacted budget for fiscal year (FY) 2020-2021 is $485.6 million. Funding for vocational rehabilitation consumer services is $186.9 million. The DOR continues to operate under a Federal Order of Selection process, and will be providing services to individuals in Priority Category One, eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities; Priority Category Two, eligible individuals with significant disabilities, who apply on or before June 30, 2021; and Priority Category Three, eligible individuals with disabilities who applied on or before August 31, 2019, including individuals who are currently on the Waiting List, shall be served.

DOR Funding ($ in thousands):

Total enacted budget for FY 2020-21 is $485,576 and includes:

  • General Fund – $75,934 including $6,375 in Local Assistance
  • Federal Funds – $395,001 including $10,066 in Local Assistance
  • Other funds – total of $14,641 including $11,280 in Reimbursements and $3,361 in Vending Stand Fund

 FY 2020-21 DOR Budget Highlights:

1. Extension of Reimbursement Authority for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP)

DOR received $2,000,000 in FY 2018-19 and another $2,000,000 in FY 2019-20 to implement the newly established DDTP. Due to delay in program implementation, DOR requested and was approved to extend the spending authority to utilize $2,000,000 initially appropriated in FY 2018-19 to FY 2020-21. The extension will support 2.7 limited-term positions and continue implementation of California Public Utilities Commission’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program providing speech generating devices to Californians with speech disabilities. This program is in furtherance of the California Health and Human Services Agency’s strategic priorities of ‘Building a Healthy California for All’ and ‘Improving the Lives of California’s Most Vulnerable.’ 

2. Extension of Reimbursement Authority for the CalFresh Outreach Program

DOR received $2,000,000 in FY 2019-20 to implement a new Calfresh Outreach Program via an interagency agreement (IA) with Department of Social Services. Due to delay in executing the IA, we anticipated $800,000 will be spent in FY 2019-20, with the remaining $1,200,000 to be spent in FY 2020-21. Because of this, DOR requested and was approved to extend spending authority to utilize $1,200,000 in FY 2020-21 to continue implementation of the CalFresh Outreach Program. DOR will continue to work with Independent Living Centers (ILCs), non-profit organizations that serve approximately 20,000 Californians with disabilities annually, to inform their consumers of the changes that allow certain recipients of Social Security benefits to receive CalFresh benefits.

3. Systems and Privacy Protections

DOR was approved for four (4) permanent full-time positions and $670,000 ongoing funding to meet California Department of Technology (CDT) security standards and enhance current protections of DOR consumers’ and employees’ personal information and to provide dedicated services towards agency-wide design and implementation of modern technologies. In the last two years, the DOR, through our Information Security Office, has made great strides in developing the department’s information security program; however, we have not had enough staff to conduct all state-required security activities. An Information Security Program Audit (ISPA) conducted in June 2019 by the CDT Office of Information Security identified several compliance and risk issues. Three (3) positions will work to adequately address these security risks and protect the personal and private information of DOR consumers and employees.  Also, as DOR and other departments transition to constantly evolving and complex technologies, the fourth position will evaluate and strategically select technologies that fit the DOR’s program needs and are compatible with technologies in other state departments. The increase in Information Technology Services Division staffing will be funded by the reallocation of Social Security Administration (SSA) program income currently budgeted as local assistance for Independent Living Center’s (ILC’s), and then backfill funding to ILCs using General Fund. The funding swap will not change the funding level for the ILC’s and will mitigate the impact of maintenance of effort required under the Vocational Rehabilitation grant. The addition in resources is in furtherance of the California Health and Human Services Agency’s guiding principles, ‘Adopting a Culture of Collaboration and Innovation’, ‘Use Data to Drive Action’, and ‘Put the Person Back in Person-Centered.’

4. Independent Living Centers

As part of the Governor’s May Revision, a funding cut of $2,120,000 General Fund local assistance to the ILCs was proposed by the Administration in response to the budget deficit caused by COVID-19. However, that proposal was ultimately rejected. Local assistance funding to the ILCs remains unchanged.

5. Employee Compensation

As a result of the COVID-19 Recession, and absent the receipt of additional federal funds, reductions in state employee compensation costs are necessary to balance the Budget. The Budget includes a provision providing flexibility for the state and bargaining units to negotiate savings totaling roughly $2.8 billion ($1.4 billion General Fund), which is an approximate 10-percent reduction in employee compensation. Please see CALHR website for updated bargaining units contracts and side letters.

Staffing:

The DOR is allocated 1,888.7 total positions.

More information on Governor’s budget proposal, including the full budget summary, is available at www.ebudget.ca.gov.

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