Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its own recommendations for the FY’23 budget. The Arc greatly appreciates the commitment to disability services demonstrated by Chair Michlewitz and the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Nearly our entire budget request for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) line items were granted! We also appreciate the outstanding advocacy by members of the House and our constituents. We plan to reboot our efforts on Chapter 257, and will work with the trade associations on that major request.
Here are the House W&M FY23 Budget Line Item Increases to the Governor’s H2 Proposal:
- Transportation (5911-2000): Increase of almost $9 million
- Community Day/Employment (5920-2025): Increase of $51 million
- Technology (5920-2003): Increase of $1.25 million
- Autism Waiver (5920-3010): Increase of over $6.4 million
- Autism Omnibus-Adults (5920-3020): Increase of almost $5.7 million
The House Ways and Means maintained DDS line items like Turning 22, Residential Services, Family Support/Respite, DESE-DDS, and others.
Along with other organizations, we need to review and reboot advocacy on the much-needed direct support workforce Chapter 257 request. House Ways and Means did include the $230 Million of the Governor’s request. But the COVID pandemic effects and decades of wage attrition leave our workforce at a disadvantage given salaries paid in retail and other businesses. The high cost of living in Massachusetts is a factor too. We will continue to work closely with the Collaborative of trade associations, which includes the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP), to advocate for this increase!
We hope to advance budget language requests during the House debate- to extend ARPA for MassHealth day and AFC services; and language to address flexibilities in funding for individuals and families including guardian and spousal support. We will be asking our House legislative champions to seek amendments to the House Ways and Means budget proposal.
Please stay tuned as we finalize The Arc’s FY23 budget asks & analysis and seek your help with our continued budget advocacy as it moves forward in the House and Senate!