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Calif. Sued Over Cuts For Developmentally Disabled

Advocates for the developmentally disabled are suing the state, claiming it has underfunded services for some 245,000 Californians.

The Arc California, an advocacy group, and United Cerebral Palsy of San Diego filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

California has frozen provider reimbursement rates since 2003. The state reduced reimbursement rates by 3 percent in 2009 and has since increased the reduction to 4.25 percent.

Attorney William McLaughlin says the state violated federal law by reducing rates without federal approval. He says the state also violated its own Lanterman Act, which guarantees the disabled the right to services to live as independently as possible.

Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California Department of Developmental Services, says "difficult decisions are needed" given the state's budget shortfall.

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