Budget Hearings To Be Held 4 January

December 31, 2016

It will be tempting to spend the few minutes each speaker is allowed to talk about the minutiae of the implementation of the Waivers, concerns about CCC+ or any one of the other issues that cross our paths on a daily basis.  The problem with that approach is that we do not send a consistent and coherent message. The 2017 Legislative Agenda available here highlights the key issues which we have discussed and can be used as a guide for your remarks.  It is always relevant to personalize your comments; for example, if you feel that the study to validate the SIS is the important item, describe briefly one of your consumers whose needs for supports seem to be higher (or lower) than the SIS Level/Tier assigned. There is also a need to strengthen the language in the existing budget to assess the impact of the rate structure changes on Sponsored Residential Services (see the language in the last paragraph of the Legislative Agenda). You may wish to reference the recent article in the Washington Post to support your argument. We will support the Arc of Virginia and our other partners; but in discussing the Governor’s proposal to eliminate 235 new slots from the CL waiver and reallocated them to the FIS (+175) and the BI (+60) waivers; the Arc rightly argues that the total slots are not reduced, but the shift removes approximately $10M from the funding available.  We suspect that if asked DBHDS would say that, in fact, is the intent of the Waiver redesign! We have requested specific data on the requests for slots on the BI waiver; it is our belief that there continue to be vacant slots on that waiver and that adding 60 additional slots is neither needed nor funding well spent. Information about the hearings can be found at here.