Success to Celebrate at the Capitol, but We need Your Help to Make It Stick!

AADD Advocacy Update – March 23, 2015

AADD secured a Senate increase of $980,000 for supported employment services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities leaving high school. But we need your help to make sure this is protected in the Conference Committee that will make the final decisions about the FY 2016 Budget before April 2, 2015!

Monday March 23 is Day 34 of the 40 day session. This week the General Assembly will be in session every day, then only next Tuesday and Thursday, April 2 which is the final day of this session.

Help Us Protect the Senate Increase for Supported Employment Services

Last Friday, the Senate voted on its recommendations on the FY 2016 Budget including an add of $980,000 for supported employment services for an additional 125 students with intellectual/developmental disabilities leaving high school.

In addition, the Senate agreed to what the House had added:
• $1.1 Million for 75 NOW/COMP waivers;
• $900,000 to the Vocational Rehabilitation Agency for supported employment (to be matched with $3.6 Million in Federal VR matching funds, to net a total increase of $4.5 Million).

Please call the members of the Conference Committee to urge that the Senate increase remain in the final Conference Committee Report.

Remember:
• 7,592 people with developmental disabilities on the waiting list for NOW and COMP waivers;
• More than 1,300 students with a primary diagnosis of intellectual/developmental disabilities left high school in Georgia last year;
• Only 400 NOW/COMP waivers granted last year (overwhelmingly for people still living in the community).

Please join us in urging the Conference Committee to protect this investment in our youth, to put them to work when they leave high school — when they are most employable. Don’t make them go home and wait for services and supports that are years away, and the painstakingly achieved gains and skills are lost or diminished.

Actions Step TODAY:

  • Please call or email the members of the Conference Committee noted below and urge them to protect the Senate increase of $980,000 in the FY 2016 Budget for 125 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive supported employment in an integrated setting. Urge them to hold on to this level of funding in the Conference Committee, which will finalize the Budget. We need the Conference Committee to adopt the Senate position for an increase of $980,000.
  • Click here for a sample email to send to these individuals:

Speaker Pro Tempore David Shafer
david.shafer@senate.ga.gov
404.656-0048

Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert
bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov
404.463-1366

Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Hill
jack.hill@senate.ga.gov
404.463-2247

House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones
Jan.jones@house.ga.gov
404.656-5072

House Representative Jay Powell
larry.oneal@house.ga.gov
404.656-5103

House Appropriations Chair Terry England
englandhomeport2@windstream.net
404.463-2247

HOW CAN I STAY CONNECTED?

  • Participate in our Wednesday morning legislative update call at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday April 1, 2015.  To join us, just dial (404) 81-9644. Enter the Conference code Pin # 4500.
  • Come to the Capitol and our lobbyist, Elizabeth J. Appley, Esq. will provide you your very own personal Advocacy Day. For more information, contact Yvette Pollard at AADD: Yvette@aadd.org
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