Conference Committee Budget
June 27, 2012
A Big Thank you to conference committee members -- Chairs Brian Dempsey and Steve Brewer (see colleagues below) and Speaker Bob DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, Leadership and rank n' file members!!
The six person conference committee in charge of reconciling the differences between the Governor, House, and Senate proposed budgets released its fiscal year 2013 compromise report on the evening of June 27, 2012! The report is very positive for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities – with Family Support at $49.5 Million and Salary Reserve at $20 Million being included. The MassHealth line item where day habilitation and other supports are funded adequately funded as well (we confirmed on 6/28 as services are in a large line item with moving parts>) The total is higher than both Senate and House versions so it’s a positive sign.
We greatly appreciate the support shown by conference committee members led by Chairs Dempsey and Brewer. Vice Chairs are Senator Jen Flanagan and Representative Steven Kulik. Minority members are Rep. DeMacedo and Sen. Knapik.
Special thanks to Speaker Bob DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray.
We report the positive results below. Go here to download the excel sheet reviewing the different budget documents.
- DDS Respite and Family Support at $49.5 Million
- MassHealth Day Habilitation looks ok but we’ll have to confirm tomorrow – has more $$ than either House or Senate version (4000-7000)
- EOHHS Salary Reserve at $20 Million
- DDS Day and Employment Services is at $133.5 Million
- DDS Transportation at $12.5 Million (shy of goal but positive)
In other accounts, we also are pleased to report that
- Turning 22 remained the same figure as requested by both branches at $6 Million (up $1 Million)
- DESE/DDS Family Preservation both versions have language and funded at $6.5 Million
- Early Intervention got close to the Senate figure with a little more than $28 Million
- Autism services for children are level funded
- Community Residential –both POS-Community and State-operated received slightly higher amounts than branch levels accounting for needs – at 788.5 Million and $180.8 Million respectively
- DDS admin and service coordination account funded at $63 Million and includes language for a Prader-Willi study
We expect that the House and Senate will vote to approve on this comprise budget tomorrow as noted by press reports. Then it goes to Governor Patrick for signature. We will need you to respond to our action alerts and ask the Governor not to veto line items in the disability arena. We also ask you to thank the conferees and your own senator/representative. The new advocate newsletter will list supportive senators and representatives for all to see.
Senate Debate Ends - Act Now for Conference Committee
We were happy to hear that the Senate funded a $20 million salary reserve - good news. But the lower budget in DDS and MassHealth relative to the House budget plan and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is severe. We are hoping that the Senate will accept the House numbers for many of the program line items and that the House will accept the Salary Reserve. If this happens it will be a very positive outcome and thanks will be due to House and Senate leaders and rank and file. The impact if the Senate numbers are accepted for Family Support, MassHealth Day Habilitation and Transportation is high - over 12,000 people will be affected. Taking one hour of a day program away is just one example. Here is a chart you can use. You can send this letter to your legislator - he or she can use it to send to conferees and leaders. Don't delay and this letter will save your legislator time!
Senate Debate Begins 5/23/12
Go here to review requests to Senators during budget debate. Go here to read the letter from Disability Law Center regarding Glavin and institutions.
Go here to send a letter to your senator.
Act Now Senate Amendment
This is a crucial time to ask your senator to sign on to The Arc and ADDP amendments. We urge you to take a few minutes to call your legislator. Ask him/her to sign on to all four amendments. If you do not know your senator's phone number, go to this site for contact information.
Ask your senator to co-sponsor the following amendments:
- DDS Family Support and Respite- Restore $10 Million to line item 5920-3000 because 11,000 families have lost this service since 2009. This cut means that there will be an increased need for expensive residential services. Lead sponsor of this amendment is Senator Rodriguez.
- MassHealth Day Habilitation - Do not cut this service by one hour a day, and restore $15 Million to this line item (4000-0700). Parent or sibling caregivers will need to change their work schedules and/or lose their jobs if program hours are cut. This cut may also force many families to push for residential options, which are more costly. Lead sponsor is Senator Candaras.
- EOHHS Salary Reserve - Fund this line item at $28 Million. Direct care professionals have not received an annual raise in four years. Lead sponsor is Senator Spilka.
- DDS Transportation - Restore $3 Million to line item 5911-2000. Persons with developmental disabilities need transportation services to get to their day programs and/or jobs. This cut will also increase residential costs. Lead sponsor is Senator Clark.
Senate Ways & Means Budget Analysis
The Senate Ways and Means Committee budget recommendations for the Department of Developmental Services’ Family Support and Transportation and MassHealth's Day Habilitation programs are devastating to families and individuals with disabilities who require these services. These and other cuts we are concerned about are listed below:
1. Family Support - $10 Million less than House Budget affecting over 4,000 families!
2. Day Habilitation – Reduces program by one hour a day and underfunded by $15 Million
3. Transportation - Underfunded by $3 Million
4. Community Residential - $2.1 Million reduction
5. EOHHS Salary Reserve – No funding (as in House)
Good news is that the Committee’s plan provides an additional $1 Million for Turning 22.
The double impact of one-hour a day service reduction in Day Habilitation and loss of Family Support is obvious. Parent or sibling caregivers will need to change their work schedules and/or lose their jobs. The lack of an adequate safety net already facing many families is extended to those whose family member attends Day Habilitation (3,500 families estimated). This may force many families to push for residential options, which are much more costly.
The rest of the 7,100 plus Day Habilitation attendees are in group homes or apartment settings where the cut in the day program means that residential services will have to “cover” the additional hour each day, costing those programs more funds. As health care premiums continue to rise, there have been no raises for this workforce in four years. Agencies will have to scramble with flat revenues to cover the one-hour reduction.
The Family Support cut of nearly $5 Million would reduce services to more than 2,200 persons, but this number is doubled when one considers additional numbers that would have restored services with the house budget. Again, one can avoid or delay residential services with the proper support provided by this program.
We are very concerned about these cuts, so we have obtained sponsors for the Senate debate (starts May 23, 2012). Encourage your senators to sign onto these amendments!
| The Arc - ADDP Budget Report
| FY'13 Senate Ways & Means Budget - Disability Services Analysis
|Final FY'13 House Budget
||Senate Ways & Means|
|DDS Critical Priorities
||DDS Respite and Family Support
||DDS Day and Employment Services
||EOHHS Salary Reserve
|5948-0012 & 7061-0012
||DESE/DDS Family Preservation
|Other DDS Priorities
||State Operated Homes
||Service Coordination, Admin.
||Templeton Retained Revenue
||MRC Brain Injury Residential
||MassHealth Day Habilitation/Adult Family Care/Adult Day Health
||Funded at Maintenance
||DPH Early Intervention
• Line items 5920-2000 and 5920-2025 are separated but Senate does not include T22 funds in Transportation
for FY12 students.
• MassHealth Day Habilitation - one hour daily reduction
• Rolland Monitor was taken out of Comm Resid which deepens Residential (5920-2000) reduction to $2.1
• State Operated Homes grew due to movement of persons out of state schools
• Salary Reserve-- last full reserve in FY’09 was for $23 Million. (4000-0017). Previous reserves were at $28/$40
• Early Intervention is at maintenance-level through new waiver; DPH reports $5.4 Million in new MassHealth
account, 4000-0700. Senate budget now includes $2.2 Million additional.