Advocacy can mean many things both in regard to what and the how. The what for us is—working toward policies, funding, laws, regulations and other types of outcomes which advance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families (see our mission here ). On a simple level, the “how” means encouraging, pleading, urging, and providing justification. But it gets more complex when you apply the “how” to “where”. There is the administration of the state or federal government, the legislature, the courts, school committees, etc.
The advancements of our present age didn’t come easily and require vigilance and yes, advocacy. Further advocacy for our cause requires people –anyone who cares about disabilities and wishes to build a good life in the community. Services cost dollars, rights require laws and regulations and understanding takes public education. Much has been done, but there continues to be work to do. The Advocacy pages share areas in which we are most involved and tools. Our priorities evolve over time. This page provides an index of the section and government affairs headlines.
The legislature fully supported the Governor’s budget recommendation and added $17,850,000 to them for a total increase of $165.85 million. Legislators heard our concerns about the gaps in the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) line items including Family Support, Community Day and Employment, Transportation, Autism Omnibus, and the Autism Children’s Waiver, increasing funds for these services. In addition, Residential Services received a significant increase for unmet needs, the updated Turning 22 formula continued, and Mass Concurrent Enrolment dollars also grew.
The Arc of Massachusetts Releases FY 2020 Budget Analysis, Celebrates Outstanding Commitment To Disability Community
The Arc is excited to share the remarkable outcome of the Final FY 2020 budget. We offer our sincere thanks to House and Senate leaders, Ways and Means Chairs and Committee. Their support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is significant and reflected in the coming year’s budget at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
Today, July 31, 2019, Governor Charlie Baker signed the Fiscal 2020 Budget. The Governor did not veto any line items for the Department of Developmental Services, giving the DDS budget a monumental boost across multiple line items that will provide needed supports and fill in significant gaps.
On Sunday night, the House and Senate Conference Committee negotiated a compromise budget bill for FY’2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) that includes significant gains for the Commonwealth’s disability community and their families. Yesterday, the House and Senate voted to approve this budget and it was sent to the Governor who now has 10 days to review the budget bill and make decisions on what to approve, veto or return with proposed changes.