Conference Committee to Begin Deliberations

The Senate and the House are moving into the final stages of their work on the FY’20 budget. Both chambers have finalized their budgets and the remaining work rests with the Conference Committee that must settle the differences of each line item from each budget.

The Conference Committee is made of three members each from the Senate and House Ways and Means Committees.  This includes the Chair and Vice Chair of each committee and the ranking minority member from each committee.  The Conference Committee members include Senators Michael Rodrigues, Cindy Friedman, and Vinny deMacedo; as well as Representatives Aaron Michlewitz, Denise Garlick, and Todd Smola.

We are watching closely four DDS line items where three of the House final numbers were greater than the Senate numbers. The Respite and Family Support line item (5920-3000) in the House budget was $3.5M more than the Senate version. The Community Day and Work line item (5920-2025) in the House was $3.4M more than the Senate version. The Autism Omnibus line item (5920-3020) in the House was $2.5M more than the Senate version. Finally, the Aging with Developmental Disabilities line item (5920-3025) was $100K more in the Senate than in the House version.

Now is the time to reach out our Representatives and Senators, urging them to contact the Conference Committee members and to ask them to support the budget version that best serves individuals and families. Deliberations by the Conference Committee are slated to begin next week, so action now is important. Now is the time to call your legislator (617-722-2000).

Click the images of the Conference Committee members below to be taken to their legislative profile (including direct contact information).

Senator Michael Rodrigues

Senator Cindy Friedman

Senator Vinny deMacedo

Representative Aaron Michlewitz

Representative Denise Garlick

Representative Todd Smola

One Comment:

  1. RE: 5920-3020 Autism Omnibus $27,452,968

    Dear Members of the Conference Committee,

    I am writing to urgently ask you to approve the 5920-3020 Autism Omnibus budget at $27,452,968. This $2.5m increase over the Governor’s proposed budget will help provide support for the 824 adults* with autism without an intellectual disability (the “newly eligible”) who are currently eligible for DDS services but are not enrolled. This is mainly because of lack of funding. Support for all adults who are currently eligible for DDS services is essential to enable them to work and live independently.

    Thank you,

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