The State Senate this week began reviewing the 1196 amendments filed by Senators following the release of the Ways and Means Committee FY 19 budget. The Arc has worked closely with Senators to file and support nine amendments. Those amendments include increased funding in the following areas: transportation, residential services, adult foster care, day/employment services, autism waiver, adult autism services, Operation House Call, family support/respite care, and DESE/DDS. Twenty three senators have either filed these amendments or joined as co-sponsors.
On Wednesday, May 16, the Health Care Finance Committee passed Operation House Call. Now on to hopefully its final stop at Ways and Means before becoming law! Thank you to everyone who advocates for this program, the emails and phone calls are so important to moving legislation. Stay tuned as we get closer to the finish line.
Do you have a child who is eligible for DDS and has high needs for support? You may want to consider applying for the DESE-DDS program to receive meaningful supports that are designed to avoid out of home placements and to keep families together. This program has been successful in the Commonwealth for over a decade and is a priority line item in the budget for The Arc.
In March, we talked about “what will it take” to achieve an inclusive society. Maybe the word inclusive is not concrete enough. How about these?
On Tuesday, May 1, The Arc of Massachusetts Executive Director Leo Sarkissian spoke with Boston Herald Radio about the serious problem of direct care workers who have abused individuals with I/DD being allowed to take on new positions. Leo discusses the importance of the current bill S 2213/H 4026, aka Nicky’s Law, and what a significant impact it would have on our community.