DD Waitlist News
This was a tough legislative session for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities but there were some bright spots. A last minute reduction of roughly $187 million in state revenue and a $400 million price tag for gun and school safety resulting from the Parkland High tragedy, made finishing the budget more difficult than most years.
The proposed budget unveiled on Tuesday also includes $22 million to help pay for an Agency for Persons with Disabilities “home and community-based services waiver” program, which serves people with intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy or other disabilities. Brodeur said the money will provide care for upward of 900 people on a waiting list. Brodeur included $41 million in the budget proposal to increase rates and ensure that the caregivers who work with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities clients are paid at least minimum wage.
One of Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities after taking office in 2011 was to resolve a longstanding deficit in the Medicaid “waiver” program that serves people with developmental disabilities. Now, nearly seven years later, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will be in the red if the Legislature doesn’t agree to spend at least an additional $89 million for a program meant to keep people with disabilities out of institutions.