2012 Virginia General Assembly Session

February 1, 2012 at 8:31 am Leave a comment

Governor Robert McDonnell presented his proposed Budget for the next two Fiscal Years in December. Delegations of Virginia Senators and Delegates from various locales held hearings and forums in the first month of this year to get your input on changes that need to be made to the Governor’s proposed Budget. ECNV hopes you were able to attend one of the events to tell your legislators what is important to you and to advocate for all people with disabilities. 

In case you weren’t able to attend one of the hearings, there is still time to contact your representatives in Richmond! If you’re not sure who represents your locale, you can use the Who’s My Legislator tool on the Virginia General Assembly website (http://legis.virginia.gov). You really must contact the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Health and Human Resources Subcommittees right away because they will be making decisions about the proposed state budget for the next two years, including what stays in and what doesn’t, between now and February 17. On February 19, the Health & Human Resources (HHR) subcommittee will report out to the full Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees, which will then report their budget recommendations for action by their respective chambers during the next week.

What follows are the 2012 Legislative Priorities as laid out by the Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL): 

(1) Stabilize funding for independent living services. The budget for 2012 reduces funding for core independent living services by 7.5% or over $306,000 provided by Centers for Independent Living (CILs). The Governor’s proposed budget further reduces funding for these services by over $87,000! The reductions will result in fewer independent living services to people who are trying to stay out of nursing facilities and other institutions. Services provided by CILs are important and an additional $394,619 is needed to restore funding at the FY09 funding level. 

(2) Reduce waiting lists for the Medicaid Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver and Intellectual Disabilities (ID) Waiver. The DD Waiver provides services for, among others, people with autism which is according to various nonprofit agencies, the “fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.” We must decrease the number of people on waiting lists for these two Waivers by increasing funding and opening more slots. 

(3) Maintain current monthly income limits for Medicaid Waiver eligibility. Right now, the monthly income limit to receive Waiver services is over $2,000 and the Gov’s proposed budget would reduce that limit to under $1750. This would make fewer people eligible for Waiver services and therefore, unless they can pay out-of-pocket for required services, place them at much greater risk for institutionalization. 

(4) Maintain personal care services available through the Elderly or Disabled with Consumer Direction (EDCD) Waiver. Last year, the General Assembly placed a 56-hour per week cap on personal care services. The proposed budget reduces that cap to 48 hours. 

(5) Reinstate funding for the Consumer Services Fund to enable Virginians with disabilities, who are eligible, to attain Assistive Technology. 

Members of the Senate Finance HHR Subcommittee are Emmett Hanger (R-24), Janet Howell (D-32), John Watkins (R-10), Yvonne Miller (D-5), Henry Marsh III (D-16), Ryan McDougle (R-4), and Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27).

Of note, are Hanger (as he is the Chairman and he is sponsoring an IL Budget Amendment), Howell (as she represents Arlington and Fairfax), Vogel (as she represents part of Loudoun). Richard Saslaw (D-35) is also a good contact as he is on the full Finance Cmte. and he is the Senate leader on the Democrat side.

Members of the House Appropriations HHR Subcommittee are: Riley Ingram (R-62), Steven Landes (R-25), Chris Jones (R-26), John O’Bannon, III (R-73), Robert Brink (D-48), Onzlee Ware (D-11), and Rosalyn Dance (D-63).

Of note are Ingram (as he is the Chairman) and Brink (as he represents Arlington and Fairfax). Del. Brink is also sponsoring an IL Amendment so ECNV encourages thanking him for that.

Article from the ECNV Declaration (Winter 2012 Edition)

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Event/Meeting, Newsletter - The ECNV Declaration. Tags: , .

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