EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter was addressed to Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the Assembly and state Senate budget subcommittees.
Re: Department of Developmental Services Budget Cuts,
We have a severely disabled child named Alexandra. She is 9 years old. The proposed budget cuts will have a devastating effect on her, our family and our ability to cope with her disabilities. These cuts will not allow us to care for her in our own home. As a parent, you must realize how devastating this very real prospect is.
A cut this big, and without detail, to a department that serves some of California's most vulnerable residents is unconscionable.
We have already had Lexi in a state-funded crisis home for two months last spring. This was due to my health issues that are perpetuated by the constant stress of her care. The crisis home was only possible because of funding from the state. Our daughter is now back at home with us, and the services we receive from the state allow us to care for her in our home.
Make no mistake, if these services are cut, we will be unable to care for our precious daughter in our home. Transparency and accountability have flown out the window with this budget. Deciding how big a cut to make with no specifics outlined is irresponsible.
This budget proposal effectively dismantles the Lanterman Act, greatly limiting or potentially making it impossible for us to care for her in our home, in our community. Won't it cost the state a lot more to have to place her in a home?
These cuts threaten the very foundation of the state's promise to let my daughter live a quality life. There is no way California can maintain its integrity if cuts of this magnitude are implemented.
Please find a way to save California without taking away my Alexandra's life.
MARIAH MANGALICK lives in Laguna Beach.