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.
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.
On Monday, April 30, WCVB Channel 5 Boston featured the important story of the ongoing efforts to create a disability abuse registry that would track all direct care workers substantiated of abuse. Currently, there is no such measure in place that would prevent accused workers from simply taking another job elsewhere.
On Friday, April 13, 2018, House of Representatives members submitted 1400 amendments to the recently released House Ways and Means Committee FY 19 budget. We have actively encouraged House members to sign on as cosponsors to seven of those amendments. These amendments ask that funding be increased for budget line items affecting supporting families services and supporting adult services. We encourage all to contact their representatives to sign onto to these amendments if their member has not already done so for each of the amendments.
The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) celebrates the release of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Budget announced by Chair Jeffrey Sánchez. Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc, stated, “Chair Sánchez and the House Ways/Means Committee members not only recognized the importance of Turning 22 for graduating students with special needs, but have raised Family Support and Employment funding by a total of 2 Million dollars.”