The Senate budget included several high points for the disability community — it addresses the Family Support reduction originally in House One with funding that restores proposed cut in House 1 and adds, $1.45 Million for needed services; an additional $500,000 above House 1 for Turning 22, additional dollars for Children’s Autism Waiver Services and safeguards AFC caregiver respite for 2016 among other things (EI-$1 Mil. shortfall fixed, etc.)
Thank you to Senators and Senate leadership including Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and Ways and Means Chair, Karen Spilka. We also want to thank all of those who led as sponsors and signed on as co-sponsors on our five priority amendments –Sponsors Barbara L’Italien, Joan Lovely, Jason Lewis and Jennifer Flanagan! Co-sponsors in order of # of priority amendments supported are Senators: Moore, Brownsberger, Gobi, Chang-Diaz, Keenan, Eldridge, Barrett, Timilty, O’Connor-Ives, Fattman and Kennedy! Thank you!
We hope and trust that Conference Committee will produce a budget that addresses all
shortfalls so families and constituents will maintain their much needed services. Attached is our draft Conference Committee request– we will review with our ADDP and other groups next week. We will also be talking to DDS leadership and House/Senate Allies. Although not formally announced we expect (and are fortunate) that Conference Committee negotiations will be led by Karen Spilka and Brian Dempsey. We also except supportive members Rep. Kulik and Sen. DiDomenico on the Committee. Minority member Sen. deMacedo has been supportive as State Rep. and we hope that continues in the Senate. We hope for the best from his House counterpart, Rep. Smola (we expect to be assigned).