What a positive few weeks we’ve had in budget and policy!
We received a very positive budget to address the needs of constituents from the House of Representatives led by Speaker Robert DeLeo. Allocations for Family Support, Day/Employment Services, and Autism Omnibus respectively grew by $5 million, $25.5 million, and $9.4 million. The inclusive college program received $300,000 in additional funding. The DDS budget grew by nearly 8% and included major increases in Turning 22, Residential, and Transportation accounts.
This past Tuesday, April 30, the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities held its first hearing led by Chairs Kay Khan and Sonia Chang-Diaz. As promised by Chair Khan, Nicky’s Law (the Abuse Registry Bill) was first on the list and supporters came out strong with nearly 20 testimonies and even more people in attendance in the audience.
The Arc also supports bills to change language in statute (outmoded terms including retardation, a bill for which Chair Khan is the sponsor) and address corrections in Disabled Persons Protection Commission’s statute (sponsored by Sen. Keenan). A bill to ensure life-support equipment is regularly checked at programs was filed for the first time. Hopefully this requirement can be addressed sooner by regulation.
The Arc is not only a vigorous advocate, but a convener and an educator. We always want to bring our communities together.
As part of our network, you can help us reach others who may not know about our impact and our need for resources to keep doing what we do. There are many who benefit from, but don’t understand, our reach.
Please help us reach others.
Sharing Notes from The Arc is one easy way to do it.
And if you can, help our advocacy through your generous gifts, in addition to the time you take to make a difference.
Leo V. Sarkissian