Council calls on state and federal governments to raise reimbursement rates
LOS ANGELES, CA – Ahead of an important state legislative deadline, the Los Angeles City Council today urged state and federal lawmakers to increase reimbursement rates for nonprofit service providers. The resolution, authored by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, is designed to guard against any loss in services as the result of proposed increases to the City’s minimum wage.
Many nonprofits, particularly child-care centers and those who serve people with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable populations, rely almost exclusively on financial support from state and federal reimbursements but these reimbursement rates do not take in to account cost of living data, including local minimum wage. Consequently, unless that changes, they will likely have to cut services.
“The City of Los Angeles has the opportunity to act on an ambitious and important minimum wage proposal that can dramatically improve the lives of many, but we must do so in a way that will actually create jobs, improve our economy and best serve our entire community,” said Blumenfield. “As we work together to lift families out of poverty, it is crucial that we be deliberative and get it right.”
Speaking in support of today’s action were representatives from several San Fernando Valley nonprofits that would be affected by inaction on the part of the state, including AbilityFirst in Woodland Hills, Valley Village in Canoga Park, and Therapeutic Living Center for the Blind in Reseda.
“The proposed Resolution calling for the City to advocate for appropriate funding adjustments for LA’s nonprofits is both an economic imperative and an act of the highest ethical standards,” said Steve Miller, a representative of Tierra del Sol, one of the largest providers of services for people with developmental disabilities.
In October, Blumenfield brought that message directly to state lawmakers, testifying before the Senate Human Services Committee’s Los Angeles area field hearing at City Hall.
“It is often said that a rising tide lifts all boats; it is my hope that by doing our due diligence, a rising wage will strengthen workers' pocketbooks, our economy and the spirit of this great City and its people,” concluded Blumenfield.