The 36.5B fiscal year 2015 budget was finalized on June 29th and passed 144-7 in the House and unanimously in the Senate on June 30th.The budget made significant investments in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Most notably was the investment to fund increases in the rate paid for long term residential services through CH257 – the first such rate increase in close to thirty years. 3M in funding was included for the employment initiative to place more individuals into integrated, community-based employment. The final budget included a 2.5M increase over last year for the Family Supports program. Transportation also received an increase over last year. The DESE/DDS program and Turning 22 were level funded from last year and there was a slight increase in the Autism Services line item.
Unfortunately, the Real Lives bill original language authored by Rep Sannicandro wasn’t included in the final budget version.