Action Alert

Dear Members of The Arc of Virginia and Advocacy Partners:

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee released their respective versions of the state budget bill. While the bills contained modest improvements to I/DD services, they both fall short of what is required to ensure that Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have access to needed services and avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

There are more than 8,100 Virginians with I/DD who are on waiting lists for community based services. More than half of these individuals meet the state “Urgent Need” criteria for reasons such as living with an aging or ill caregiver, risk of homelessness, aging out of foster care or risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Virginia is currently ranked 45th in the country for our funding of I/DD services.

Instead of providing much needed help to these individuals and their families, the Senate Finance Committee voted to REDUCE funding for new I/DD Waivers by $15.6 million in Fiscal Year 2015. This action would eliminate 225 new ID Waiver slots and 10 new DD Waiver slots from the introduced budget that would otherwise help people on waiting lists or people living in state institutions.

The House Appropriation Committee budget did provide 50 new ID Waiver slots and 10 new DD Waiver slots, but makes these Waivers contingent upon implementation of a “coordinated care” model. These Waivers would be in addition to the I/DD Waivers in the introduced budget. While the additional funding is helpful, it is important to note that this is the lowest number of new I/DD Waivers the House has provided (above the introduced budget) in almost a decade.


ACTION NEEDED:


Click here to send an email to your Delegate and Senator asking them to help the 8,100 Virginians on ID/DD Waiver waiting lists for community services!


This will take less than two minutes and could make a big difference. Please take action right away! The House and Senate will both vote on their respective versions of the budget bill on Thursday, February 20.

To send your email, just click on the link, scroll down and complete the online form on the right-hand side of the webpage. This will automatically allow you to send an editable message to your Delegate and Senator. Please be sure to also share this information with family and friends who support I/DD issues!

As always, thank you for your advocacy.
— The Arc of Virginia

For The Arc of Virginia's comprehensive summary of the House and Senate budget bills, click here.
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