The Arc of Whatcom County Parent Coalition E-Alert
July 2010
Parent Coalition
Critical 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.

Website allows citizens to submit budget ideas

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.

"Closing our 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."

Earlier this 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 service.

For more information about transforming Washington's budget and public budget hearings, visit Transforming Washington's Budget.

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.


US Legislators

Sen. Maria Cantwell
Phone: (202) 224-3441

Sen. Patty Murray
Phone: (202) 224-2621

2nd District

Rep. Rick Larsen
Phone: (202) 225-2605

State Legislators

42nd District

Sen. Dale Brandland
Phone: (360) 786-7682

Rep. Kelli Linville
Phone: (360) 786-7854
Rep. Doug Ericksen
Phone: (360) 786-7980

39th District

Sen. Val Stevens
Phone: (360) 786-7676

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
Phone: (360) 786-7967

Rep. Kirk Pearson
Phone: (360) 786-7816

40th District

Sen. Kevin Ranker
Phone: (360) 786-7678

Rep. Dave Quall
Phone: (360) 428-1023

Rep. Jeff Morris
Phone: (360) 786-7970

August 2010

14 Saturday
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Summer Street Law
Corner of Railroad and Holly

16 Monday
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Annual Ice Cream Social and Spin Dance
Max Higbee Center
315 Halleck Street
Contact Amanda: 778-7000

17 Tuesday
All Day
Washington State Primary
Don't forget to mail in your ballot!

28 Saturday
10:00 am - Noon
The Arc's Board meeting
The Arc's Dan Godwin Community Center
2602 McLeod Road
Contact Andrew: 715-0170

28 Saturday
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Summer Street Law
Corner of Railroad and Holly
Contact: 671-3079

Note: The Arc's Youth Self Advocacy Group and the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board will not meet in August.