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Guide to Legislative and Public Policy Websites
for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs/Disabilities
Getting Involved Current Issues LawsTracking Action Alerts Links

Action Alert -California Children's Services Medical Therapy Program (MTP): The Governor's Proposed Means Test for the Program Read Here
Action Alert What Impact Will This Year's Budget Have on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs?
Read Here
Action Alert
Support SB 1259
Sample Letter
Action Alert Protect the CCS Partnership
Support AB 301/Pan Read Here
Action Alert Changes in Medi-Cal & California Children's Services The 1115 Waiver Read Here
starSee what's current on Family USA - the Voices for Health Care Consumers
starCalifornia Disability Community Action Networks - What's New this week!
starANCOR highlights important issues and legislation as it pertains to people with disabilities
The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) legislative index list action alerts by month.
The Autism Education Network's Advocacy center list action alerts for families, follow this link to see what's current.
LEARN MORE about....
•CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam)
•FOA (Family Opportunity Act)
•IDEA 2004 and AB 1662
•Medicaid/MediCal, including Federal Budget News
•Mental Health
Proposition 63 - California Mental Health Services Act
Paul Wellstone Mental Services Parity Act
Keeping Families Together Act

Changes in Medi-Cal & California Children's Services

The 1115 Waiver

Key features impacting children and youth with special health care needs:
•   Mandatory enrollment of “Seniors and Persons with Disabilities” (SPDs)  into managed care
•  California Children’s Services (CCS) demonstration pilots

More Information


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Protect the CCS Partnership

Support AB 301/ Pan

California’s Children’s Services has forged a successful partnership with managed care, while still providing our sickest children with the medical care they need to survive and thrive.  The CCS partnership with managed care sunsets in 2012.  Allowing the CCS partnership to sunset would threaten a model system of care that’s been in place since 1927.  AB 301/Pan would allow this important protection for sick kids to continue.  CCS is worth protecting because it’s good for children.

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What Impact Will This Year's Budget Have on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs?

In January 2011, Governor Brown released his draft budget for the state of California to address the $25 billion deficit. It won’t be finalized until the California Legislature agrees, and there are a number of proposals that voters must approve. But there are a number of key cuts or proposed changes that will impact children and youth with special health care needs.

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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which ensures the rights of children with disabilities to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE), has just undergone reauthorization.

Department of Education has announced the final regulations to implement Part B the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) as of August 3, 2006.


  • IDEA Partnership has posted helpful summaries created by OSEP, that feature the statutory changes implemented by IDEA 2004.
  • You can review the passed bill and earlier versions of it at Go to the "Bill Number" box and enter: HR 1350.
    Note: Section 302 of the bill contains information about dates of implementation, which vary according to section.
  • The Wrightslaw website has a comprehensive page on IDEA 2004.
  • Visit the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) home page for links to articles about and analyses of IDEA 2004.
  • The Arc has posted two documents on its website.
  • The Arc of California has a special web page that provides both short and long summaries of the IDEA reauthorization bill.
  • The Beach Center on Disabilities provides an analysis of how IDEA 2004 strengthens the implementation of Postive Behavior Supports (PBS) in the IEP.
  • The US House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce has posted a Conference Report on the IDEA reauthorization act.
  • The California Department of Education has created its own IDEA Reauthorization page.

AB 1662 -- California's bill to bring California special education law into harmony with the new IDEA.


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Take action to ensure that Medicaid (Medi-Cal) services continue to be available to individuals with disabilities. Budget cuts and a proposal to fund Medicaid (Medi-Cal) through Block Grants could have an impact on the delivery of services to individuals with disabilities. The 2006 Federal Budget threatens budget cuts to state Medicaid (Medi-Cal) programs.

  • More on the Federal Budget:
    •The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a policy organization that looks at federal and state fiscal policies as it relates to low- and moderate-income families and individuals. They conduct detailed research and analysis reports that are informative for the public. Their health policy section contains an array of reports that affect low-income children and families, as well as seniors and people with disabilities.
    •The California Budget Project is a policy organization similar to CBPP check it out to see whats happening with issues affecting low-income families.
    •The Easter Seals legislative page contains information about how the 2006 budget will affect individuals with disabilities and their families. Also check out their Action Alerts section for 2006 Action Alerts.

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Proposition 63 -- the Mental Health Services Act -- was passed by the voters of California this past November. More information is available on their website.

new The City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, Community Behavioral Health Services has released the San Francisco Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) draft plan to the public. It can be found and reviewed on the DPH website at

In addition to accessing the plan online, community members can also come to the Mental Health Association of San Francisco to read the plan. Call 421-2926 to make an appointment.

This Act, S486, calls for equal treatment of mental and physical disorders by insurance companies and government agencies. Thomas provides information about S486.

NAMI, the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, a support and advocacy organization of families, friends and mental health consumers, the national site has action alerts regarding legislation on a federal level. Don't forget the California NAMI website for reports specific to Mental Health and California.

NAMI encourages those interested in this bill to contact their Senators and Representatives to ask that they co-sponsor and support this legislation. To learn more about the bill and for a list of talking points, visit the NAMI website.

NAMI's section on "GRADING THE STATES" presents a report on America's Health care system for Serious Mental Illness. See their grade for Federal and California MH systems.

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The resources on these pages are for your information. These listings are not necessarily comprehensive, nor are they an endorsement. If you find that any information is incorrect, if you would like to offer feedback or if you know of additional resources that may be helpful to include, please contact us.

This page was last updated: April 24, 2012

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@ Open Gate Resource Center
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©2007 Support for Families of Children with Disabilities