Current Issues

2018 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION REPORTING

The 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly concluded business last week that provides critical funding for programs as well as a variety of specific legislation affecting people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Rate Increase Restored in State Budget

Thanks to fantastic work by the Developmental Disabilities Coalition, the General Assembly restored a 3.5% rate increase for disability services in the State’s budget. The increase initially proposed only 1% in the Governor’s budget, not the 3.5% increase mandated by the Minimum Wage Act of 2014. The restoration to 3.5% was made possible by the Coalition and strong grassroots advocacy – with calls, emails, and visits by many family members, people with disabilities, and the professional who support them! In addition, tremendous leaders in the Senate and House of Delegates stood by the disability community to make this happen.

In summary, the expansion budget included the full rate increase and the rest of the Governor’s budget for the Developmental Disabilities Administration:

Rate Increase for Community Services
The budget includes $39 million in total funds to fully fund a 3.5% rate increase for DDA community services that was mandated in the Minimum Wage Act of 2014.

Transitioning Youth
The Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative includes $13.9 million in total funds to support 613 eligible youth at least 21 years of age who exit high school in 2018.

Emergency Funding
$5.6 million in total funds will be available to provide community supports and services to approximately 53 people in emergency situations.

Waiting List – Crisis Resolution
$6.5 million in total funds is budgeted for community supports and services for 165 people on the DDA Waiting List with the most urgent needs.

Waiting List Equity Fund
The budget also includes $775,532 in total funds from the Waiting List Equity Fund that will be available for 19 people on the DDA Waiting List with the oldest caregivers.

DSS Aging Out Placements
The budget includes $1.69 million in total funds for 60 youth who are aging out of Department of Social Services programs (foster care) and entering DDA funded community supports.

Low Intensity Support Services
$5.5 million in general funds was included in the budget for short-term, low-cost services, to 1,911 children and adults who do not receive other DDA services.

Post-Secondary Education Program
$250,000 in general funds was also included for the development of inclusive, postsecondary education programs for people with IDD.

Additional Budget Highlights
The Maryland State Department of Education Budget included:

  • $2.7 million increase for the Autism Waiver to serve an additional 100 children.
  • $10.4 million for the Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program, the same funding level as FY2018.
  • $7 million the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program.

Additional Legislative Overviews
Thanks to the DD Coalition for their reports, from which the information above has been excerpted. Complete reports on DD related budget issues as well as relevant legislation that passed or failed is available through the following:

MACS – 2018 Legislative Wrap-up Report | Final Bill Chart

MD DD Council – 2018 Legislative Overview

 

CALL TO ACTION AND ADVOCACY NETWORK UPDATE

Stories are needed from families & friends of people with I/DD because promised increases for support staff wages were cut in new budget. Plus, we provide an update to our advocacy network.

Read Now

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES HIS FY19 DDA BUDGET
FY19 Budget summaries:
2018 LEGISLATIVE SESSION PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES
This year’s legislative session is presenting many issues and proposed legislation that The Arc Maryland and The Arc Baltimore is actively monitoring and advocating on to protect and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Our priorities include:
  • Funding for Community Programs
  • Developmental Disabilities Waiting List
  • Transitioning Youth
  • Education & Children’s Services
  • Employment
  • Affordable Housing
  • Law Enforcement and Justice
  • Civil Rights

View The Arc Maryland’s 2018 Public Policy Platform, supported by The Arc Baltimore, that elaborates on all eight priorities.


ADVOCACY NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS

We encourage you to sign up for updates and action alerts through our Advocacy Network.


LEARNING YOUR WAY AROUND THE PROCESS

The State of Maryland provides great materials to help people who are new to the system. We recommend some of these references.


THE ARC MARYLAND 2017 LEGISLATIVE RECAP

The Maryland General Assembly completed their 2017 session at midnight on April 10. For The Arc Maryland, the 2017 Legislative Session was both extremely busy and successful! Key bills of our Public Policy Platform were passed by the General Assembly and have been signed into law by Governor Hogan. We could not have accomplished as much as we did without the support of our chapters and grassroots members! Without the over 700 attendees for DD Day, and all the individuals who testified, we would not have had as productive session as we had!

Read the 2017 Legislative Wrap Up

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES HIS FY18 DDA BUDGET

Governor Hogan released his FY 2018 Proposed Operating Budget on January 18, 2017.  The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Budget includes: Read more…