The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) applauds the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Budget announced by Chairperson Karen Spilka. Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc stated, “Chairperson Spilka and the Senate Ways/Means Committee members have affirmed that young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities do need a pathway to a full life in the community. Their decision to address Turning 22 and adult needs is another landmark decision which The Arc celebrates!” Thank you to Sen. Spilka, Vice Chair DiDomenico and the Ways and Means Committee Members.
Turning 22 line item has been increased by nearly $17 Million to $24.2 Million in the Department of Developmental Services budget. Other related accounts (Day/Employment, Residential and Transportation) also received increases as part of a new formula to reach the nearly 1,000 students who graduate from high school and require adult services. These accounts fund year 2 and future years of adults who require services.
Turning 22 services and supports typically include day and employment supports, residential, transportation, and other individualized services. Supporting young adults as they turn 22 also assists their families. 70% of these graduating students live at home. The last time this formula was adjusted was in the 1990s. The chart below shows the rise in need which includes a high number of students with autism adding to the numbers with developmental disabilities.
The Arc looks forward to working on a future looking strategy for Medicaid long term supports and services with the Administration and MassHealth leadership. In the meantime we trust that the Senate will protect the Adult foster-family care (AFC) program with language avoiding the severe impact of a base cut in the program. We hope language will be adopted in the Senate for Line Item 4000-0601 as in the House budget, “provided further, …“provided further, that the payment rates for the adult foster care program shall not be lower than the rates in effect for fiscal year 2016”
The Senate Ways and Means budget acknowledges the rise of the adult I/DD population
including those with autism who do not have an intellectual disability. We again thank Senate Chair Spilka and Ways and Means Committee members.
To learn more about this budget find 2018 Senate Ways and Means on this page. Scroll down below Chair Spilka’s photo.
For a review of the budget cycle with Senate information to be posted in the next 24 hours
please go here.