Legislative Action Center
Dear Parents & Friends:
In the past three years, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has been cut by more than $50 million, with most of the cuts directed at community-based Residential and Day/Employment Services. As a result, the Residential waiting list has increased to more than 2,000 people, with an additional 100 people on the Day/Employment waiting list.
Recently the Governor presented his budget proposals for fiscal year 2017. Although he said “improving services for individuals with intellectual disabilities” was one of his top priorities, he also proposed funding cuts pus a 5.75% cut across the board for all state agencies.
His proposal for improving services included:
- creating an I/DD Partnership to expand supportive housing and develop strategies to fund the waiting list
- transferring all DDS community residential funding to DSS with no deductions.
Unfortunately, his proposed cuts, which will be initiated in Fiscal year 2017, would mean:
- $15 million in cuts to DDS through annualizing of budget lapses and mitigation cuts
- $32 million additional cuts to DDS through the 5.75% across the board proposal
If implemented, these cuts would severely impact any individuals needing DDS funded services, especially 2016 graduates.
Also, as previously mentioned, the 5.75% cut affects ALL state agencies that fund our not-for-profit safety net. Besides DDS, DMHAS, for example, will incur potential cuts of $34.5 million, resulting in inadequate funding for services and causing nonprofit programs to either close or reduce services.
The only semblance of good news is that the Public Hearing Committee has raised House Bill No. 5128 AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DDS. If passed, this bill will require that funds appropriated to DDS that are unexpended at the end of fiscal years 2016 and 2017 remain available for expenditure by the department. Every dollar is vital. Please ask your legislators, especially those on the Public Health Committee, to support this bill.
It is important to remember that these are proposals and to keep them as proposals, it is up to all of us to make sure legislators and the Governor know what these cuts would mean to both your loved ones and to your families.
CLICK HERE to write an email to the Governor and your legislators.
There are two very important public hearings on DDS Budget this week. Attend and testify in person if you can, but if you can't, it is vital that all families and advocates submit email testimony.
1. Tuesday February 16 - 11:00 am- Legislative Office Building, Room 2E
This Tuesday, the Public Health Committee will hear testimony on Raised House Bill 5128 AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES
This bill will require that DDS keep any budget savings or lapses and make them available to serve unmet needs such as the DDS waiting lists! This is the "money stays in the DDS system" bill families have been wanting for years!
If you cannot attend, please submit testimony by CLICKING HERE.
Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 9:00 A.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the Legislative Office Building. Bills will be heard in the order listed in the Bulletin. H.B. 5128 will be the second bill heard at this hearing.
Your testimony should include:
- A thank you to Committee chairs Senator Gerratana and Representative Ritter for Raising H.B. 5128.
- A clear statement of your support for this bill.
- Why this bill is important to your family and/or other with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
2. Thursday, February 18 - 4:00 pm- Legislative Office Building
On Thursday The Appropriations Committee will hear testimony on H.B. No. 5044 AN ACT MAKING ADJUSTMENTS TO STATE EXPENDITURES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2017.
This bill includes the Governor Malloy's proposals to:
- Cut close to $47 million from the DDS budget!
- To create an I/DD Partnership to expand supportive housing and develop strategies to fund the waiting list.
It is important for all families and advocates to submit testimony about the devastating impact of these cuts, particularly for 2016 graduates who will likely receive no services at all if these cuts are implemented!
Your testimony should include:
- Information about why you need services and why waiting lists and cuts in services hurt your family.
- A request to STOP THE $47 million in cuts to DDS!
To send testimony, please CLICK HERE.
Public speaker order for the public hearings will be determined by a lottery system.
Lottery numbers will be drawn from 9:00 A.M. until 10:00 A.M. in the LOB First Floor Atrium, and from 10:15 A.M. until 1:00 P.M., in Room 2700 of the LOB. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. The list of speakers registered through the lottery system will be posted outside the designated hearing room two hours prior to the start of the public hearing. Please submit 30 copies of written testimony at the time of sign-up, but not later than 2:00 P.M. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.