One Day Down and . . . ?
August 19, 2020
- First, the organizing resolution (introduced and passed by the House) did not pass the Senate; without an agreement we do not have a blueprint to follow!
- All of the committee meetings will be “virtual” and it will be very difficult to communicate with the members rapidly enough to share our concerns or support. And,
- There are already 192 bills not including Resolutions; while this is far fewer than in the “regular Session,” it is overwhelming for a short one.
The bills on our watch list are related to expansion of worker’s compensation, immunity from civil liability, requirements for reporting of outbreaks and a variety of initiatives to expand behavioral health options to help address the public safety issues which are the focus of the Session.
It is, of course, of great concern that there is not only no proposed funding for these initiatives, but funding for the ongoing growth of the community system (STEP-VA) included in the biennial budget (unallotted in April) is now recommended for reduction.
Details of Governor’s Proposed Budget Reductions
Other items of the reduction list are:
- Rate study for private day special education programs
- 250 DD Waiver slots added for FY22 by the General Assembly
- Medicaid Adult Dental benefit
- Enhanced Behavioral Health Services (and the Training Funds)
- DD Waiver rate increases including rates for private duty and skilled nursing
- Mental Health (Outpatient) rates
- Psychiatric Residential rate increases
- Rate Setting Analysis (added to provide direction on rate setting to accommodate the planned increases in the minimum wage over the next few years)
- Increases in DAP funding and permanent supportive housing
As our ability to interact with members is very limited, it is even more important that you contact your legislator and tell them how important our legislative agenda is and why!