Senate Releases Ways and Means Budget

The Massachusetts State HouseSenate Chair Stephen Brewer and the Ways/Means Committee released a very positive 2015 budget for services on May 14.  The Budget supports “Blueprint for Success” which will increase community access for individuals with disabilities and bring our state’s services closer to the Olmstead decision and ADA.  The Senate also increased residential rates significantly reflecting Chapter 257.  Please see the budget chart for the Senate here.

You can go to take action here to send a message to your senator.   The Family Support/Respite program was reduced by 2.5M from the House number and there were slight decreases for transportation (we expect to post an amendment for transportation in the next day). Autism Services and Turning 22 were level funded from last year. You now have an opportunity to weigh in on budgetary line items by asking your legislator to co-sponsor amendments which benefit DDS services and supports. In the coming days, please directly appeal to your representative to request support for additional funding with the following three amendments:

1- Family Support (5920-3000) – Senator Karen Spilka amendment to add 2.5M

2- Autism Services (5920-3010) – Senator Cynthia Creem amendment to add 3M

3- Turning 22 (5920-5000) – Senator Joan Lovely amendment to add 2M

4- Transportation (5911-2000) – Senator John Kennan amendment to add $800,000

In addition, there are now two more amendments that DDS has filed – you can add these to our capwiz message —

5.  Service Coordination/Administration (5911-1003) – Senator Michael Barrett to add $897,581

6.  State Operated Homes (5920-2010) -Senator Canderas to add $725,995


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