On Thursday, February 13, over 150 advocates including self-advocates, family members, direct support professionals, and more braved the rain and snow to join The Arc of Massachusetts and the Supporting Families Coalition for our annual Supporting Families Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House.
The Arc is grateful to the Governor for his proposed increases in the House 2 FY 2021 budget. The Department of Developmental Services has increases totaling approximately $50 million. The Arc is especially thankful for the $7.8 million increase in Family Support, as well as the $7.8 million increase in the Autism Omnibus (adult autism) line items.
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 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).