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Our call to action for House Debate needs your engagement today!  Your legislator can co-sponsor and vote for amendments that directly address the quality of life for those stuck at home (7,000 persons), and extend ARPA for staff in Day habilitation and AWC, programs not included in Chapter 257.  The increase is the minimum we need for these services.

Many of you along with us at The Arc, appreciate the Ways and Means budget’s significant support of community services in the Department of Developmental Services budget!

Many are surprised and disappointed that no further dollars were added to Chapter 257 leaving the total at Governor Baker’s allocation of $230 million.  Although a strong investment, our community turns now to the Senate and then Conference Committee to ensure our workforce is paid competitively and to stabilize services.

Next week the House will debate the House Ways and Means budget.  Your actions will advance:

  1. Underfunded MassHealth Day Habilitation and Adult Foster/Family Care Programs. Make permanent the 10% increases that came through federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan) funding. Chair Michael Finn – 10% permanent increase for Day Habilitation and AFC #1216
  2. More flexibilities in the funding and line items so that families and individuals (who cannot attend congregate day services) to be supported in ways that meet their needs.   Vice Chair Brian Ashe – Flexibilities in funding for families and individuals served by DDS (#958) and MassHealth (#964)
  3. The lives of guardians, spouses other responsible parties to be paid caregivers. With the workforce shortage crisis, we know this is one smart way to help people continue to live in their communities and is the right thing to do to support families.  Chair Sean Garballey – Guardians and spouses as paid AFC caregivers #1341

Take a moment to send this action alert to your Representative. These amendments will help thousands of individuals and families. Let’s make sure our voices are heard!

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