Budget Conferees Have Been Named!
March 03, 2022
We are nearing the final stages of the budget negotiations; our letters to the budget conferees in the House and the Senate are linked below:
You will notice that they both begin with the following:
As you know, our message to you and to the administration over the past few years has been that all of the providers of behavioral health and developmental disability services, public or private, hospital or community are substantially unable to meet the needs of Virginia citizens because they lack the workforce to do so. There are multiple and complex causes for the “workforce crisis,” but regardless of the reason(s) until we solve this problem, the many needs of many Virginians will not/cannot be met.
Each letter then identifies specific elements of their Committee Report that we hope they approve while pointing out items we think were missing. We operate on the assumption that the Committee Reports that were released several weeks ago will form the basic parameters of the options for the final budget. They are not likely, at this point, to identify totally “new” funding!
What can you do –
- Reach out to your member of the House and Senate – constituent contacts are always important and (unless they are members of the Conference Committee) details are not terribly important – use the message in bold above!
- If they are on the Conference Committee (see below) then ask if they got the letter from VNPP and use talking points from the letter linked above.
- Personalize by talking about your services, the impact of the workforce crisis, the effect of the pandemic, how important the 12.5% temporary increase has been and why rates just can not go down in July, etc.
House — Delegates Knight, Austin, Bloxom, Brewer, Torian and Sickles
Senate — Senators Howell, Barker, Hanger, Locke, Lucas, Newman, Norment and Saslaw
The letters both end with the following:
Lastly, while we appreciate the great frustration about the delay in distribution of the DD Waiver slots approved for the current fiscal year; we do hope that all of the slots proposed in the introduced budget will be funded as planned.
Those last two words are very important!