United Arc families share stories with area legislators

Late last year, twelve Franklin County families met at The United Arc Family Center in Turners Falls with then State Senator-Elect Adam Hinds (Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District), Jessie Cooley, aide to Rep. Paul Mark (Second Berkshire District), and Paul Dunphy, Director of Constituent Services for Rep. Stephen Kulik (First Franklin District). This meeting was a result of a newly formed Parent/Caregiver group started by United Arc’s Family Support …

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End of Formal State Legislative Session

Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts General Court (our legislature) has wrapped up its session with veto overrides and the passage of several bills. Lower than expected revenues were a major factor in the decisions made. The governor further reduced the budget by $256 million through vetoes after legislators made significant reductions. Typically, the conference committee negotiates between the funding in each branch’s budget, but this time the falling revenues forced decision makers to …

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The Arc Appreciates Conferees – Still Facing Hurdles -Article Updated

Massachusetts State House

The Arc of Massachusetts thanks lawmakers for the conference committee budget.  The unexpected drop in revenues required the legislature and administration to think through the FY’2017 budget again in a very short amount of time. The budget in DDS (Dept. Developmental Services) and other disability line items tracked closely with the House and Senate blueprints.  Constituents in need of services, providers and state agency staff will still face challenges in …

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Changes In MassHealth

Massachusetts State House

MassHealth recently made two announcements regarding upcoming changes in the delivery of health and long term services.  A new Medicaid waiver is being provided to the Federal government.   The new proposed waiver and a summary are both located here.  This page also includes dates for stakeholder listening sessions located in Boston (6/24) and Fitchburg (6/27).   If the link doesn’t work you can head to www.mass.gov/hhs/masshealth-innovations and choose 1115 Waiver Proposal …

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Senate Ways and Means Report

Massachusetts State House

May 17, 2016   The Arc of Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Report May 17, 2016 The Senate Ways and Means Committee released their version of the FY’17 budget on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Family support gains were at $6.7 Million; similar to the House and Governor’s budget. In addition, the dollars for Turning 22 were increased by $1 Million relative to the House budget. Next year, DDS (Dept. Developmental …

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Budget Debate Moves to the Senate

The Senate has begun the review process for their version of the FY’17 Budget with an expected release date of May 17th. Part of that effort involves The Arc and other providers working with Senators to advocate for budget line items that will benefit those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The final House version of the budget line items closely reflected the same amounts that were listed in the governor’s …

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Great Progress On The Arc’s Priority Bills

S1179 / H1932 passed through the Joint Committee on Public Health and is on its way! We have had great support this session for the medical and health professional training bill focusing in on the unique health care needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism. This legislation provides a certification through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts using the Operation House Call training model. Thank you to our dedicated leaders …

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