Senate Ways & Means Disability Line Item Requests
The major improvement during the latest round of budget negotiations was the House leadership's decision to add $7.5 million for a one-time salary reserve bonus for direct support human service workers earning less than $40,000. That amendment was sponsored by representatives David Linksy and Ruth Balser.
The final House budget also included an additional $1 million for Early Intervention services, $3 million for the Education circuit breaker account, and language requiring an oral health study for people with disabilities.
We join our other statewide disability partners in thanking legislators, in addition to representatives Linsky and Balser, who sponsored amendments to improve disability services. This includes Reps. Garballey, Brodeur, Garlick, Benson and Sannicandro, and others who co-sponsored their amendments. We also want to thank Chairman Dempsey for his support of Down syndrome and disability services this year
Now the budget moves to the Senate, led by the Senate Ways & Means Committee and its Chair Stephen Brewer. Please start reaching out to your senators to ask for their support on these disability line items, especially if your senator is on the Ways & Means Committee.
Turning 22 (DDS 5920-5000): Asking for $2 million increase for total of $8 million to provide first-year funding to special education graduates to make the transition to the adult services system.
Family Support/Respite (DDS 5920-3000): Asking for $3 million increase for total of $54.5 million to help fund medical supplies and services, respite care, after-school programs, skills instruction and other activities. Additional funds would provide services for 2,500 people in need.
Alternative Education (DDS 5948-0012/DESE 7061-0012): Asking to match House number of $7.5 million, which will help keep children with significant disabilities with their families and avoid more costly out-of-home residential schools.
Residential Services-Chapter 257 (DDS 5920-2000): Asking to match the Governor’s $860.3 million request to ensure that rate-setting reform is implemented in a timely fashion. Failing to fully fund will mean the loss of 35 residential homes for people with disabilities.
Children's Autism Services (DDS 5920-3010) Asking to match the House figure of $6,623,439 and include, like the House, language for multi-year growth.
Salrary Reserve: The House included an additional $7.5 million for a one-time salary reserve bonus for direct support human service workers earning less than $40,000. ?Asking the Senate to do the same.
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