Public Hearings Posted

December 22, 2021

Public Hearings on the budget will be held virtually on January 5th; the announcement is here.  The message this year is pretty simple:

  • The pandemic is not over – there are many items already in the budget that reflect the adjustments that have been and will continue to be made to keep both the individuals we support and the staff who support them safe
  • The workforce crisis is not abated – there are multiple factors which play a role, but the most critical is wages
  • In a recent analysis of the rates paid for the DD Waivers in Virginia, the greatest factor which accounted for more that 44% of the needed increase was “minimum wage adjustments;” the second most critical was “wage inflation” (31%)

Our message this year is – if we do not have the workforce, we can not provide the services! 

  • In 2020 more that 15,000 unique individuals received services in one of the DD Waivers – every service provided by a staff member who came to work during the pandemic and worked for wages less than they could have earned elsewhere!  
  • Group homes have closed, day services will not reopen, and specialty services are very hard to find.

We appreciate the rate increases planned in the Governor’s budget, but they do not support the critical Group Day, Group Supported Employment or all of the Group Home Services which allow individuals to live successfully in the community.