MEDICAID FUNDING CUT
funds stripped from HR 4213
HR 4213, originally
named the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act" has now been
renamed the "Unemployment Compensation Extension Act." It originally
included a 6 month extension of the FMAP (Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage)
increase. The FMAP extension was removed and the bill has passed addressing unemployment benefits only.
Most services that
individuals with developmental disabilities receive from Washington state are
paid for by state funds and FMAP funds. Because of the recession, states were
granted a temporary increase in the FMAP percentage they received. HR 4213 was
supposed to extend that increase for another 6 months. Because it appeared it
would pass, our state built last year's budget on the assumption we would receive
that extra funding.
If Congress does not
approve the FMAP funding by the Aug. 9 recess, the Governor has said that
she would have no choice but to make across-the-board cuts of 4 to 5 percent to
make up for the $480 million shortfall. This means many services would
be cut or eliminated.
Contact your US Legislators today to share
your thoughts on how changes to this funding will affect your family.
NEW BUDGET PLAN
Website allows citizens to submit
Governor Chris Gregoire
has announced the launch of an interactive budgetary website. The site allows citizens to
share, comment and vote on budget ideas. The most highly rated ideas will be considered by budget writers. Ideas will be
posted between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.
state's budget gap requires innovative thinking as well as making some tough
decisions," Gregoire said. "This interactive website gives people an
opportunity to share ideas and engage in a discussion about what ideas might
work best for us. I'm eager to hear what people have to tell us."
summer, the governor announced her plan for "Transforming Washington's Budget"
through a number of steps, including the formation of an advisory board of leaders
from around the state. The process will also identify the most essential state
services and determine whether they are being delivered in the most effective and
cost-efficient way and whether the state or another entity should provide the
For more information
about transforming Washington's budget and public budget hearings, visit Transforming Washington's Budget.
DISABILITY ACT TURNS 20
Congressman in wheelchair to preside over House
The first member of the House of Representatives with quadriplegia will
preside over the governing body on Monday, July 26, 2010 in honor of the 20th
anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) will be the first person using a wheelchair to
take the helm of the House. The opportunity is possible because of recent
alterations to the House Speaker's platform making it wheelchair accessible
through a series of lifts.
"I have long said that I may be the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress,
but I won't be the last," Langevin, a five-term congressman, said in a
statement. "This is an extremely proud moment for me and helps renew my spirit
as we continue to remove barriers and strengthen the ADA for millions of
Americans with disabilities in the decades to come."
The Arc of Whatcom County provides information and referrals,
educational programs, and funding for people with developmental
disabilities, their families, and the organizations that serve them.
This E-Alert is made possible by funding from the Whatcom County Developmental Disabilities program.