House Committee Budget Out
More work to come

House Ways and Means Budget at a Glance
Line Item 5920-3000
DDS Family Support
Gov's Request: $54,933,705
ADDP Ask:       Same
House WM:       Same

Line Item 5948--0012
Gov's Request: $6,500,000
ADDP Ask:         $8,500,000
House WM:         $6,500,000

Line Item 5920-3010
DDS Autism
Gov's Request :    $5,621,357
ADDP Ask:          $8,621,357
House WM:          $5,621,357

Line Item 5920-2025
DDS Day and Employment
Gov's Request:   $179,162,848
ADDP Ask:            $185,162,848
House WM:            $173,662,848

Line Item 5920-2000
DDS Residential Chapter 257
Gov's Ask:           $1,008,920,080
ADDP Ask:             $1,008,920,080
House WM:             $1,005,889,270

Line Item 5920-5000
DDS Turning 22
Gov's Ask:               $6,500,000
ADDP Ask:             $15,200,000
House WM:             $6,500,000

Rhode Island Employment  
Placed Under 10 year Court Monitor

In a sign of what may be ahead for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, neighboring state Rhode Island's disability employment program has agreed to accept U.S. Federal Court monitoring of it's employment program.

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor took Rhode Island to Court over its failure to adhere to the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act and reduce or eliminate its use of sheltered workshops.

The Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Director had announced a plan to close its sheltered workshops over the next three years, without continuing Federal Court monitoring however the new agreement forces the state to lose control and direction without the approval of a U.S. Court appointed Federal Monitor.  This step is expected to cost Rhode Island millions upon millions of dollars in potential exposure. 

The Arc/ADDP/DDS Blueprint, scuttled by today's HWM budget was conceived to avoid such action in Massachusetts. 

Residential Chapter 257 Rates Mostly Funded, though $3 Million below Governor's Figures
The FY 15 Budget journey, a long process not recommended for the feint of heart, has just begun with the release of the House Ways and Means Committee Budget by it's chair, Rep. Brian Dempsey.

BDempsey Developmental Disabilities residential service providers see good news coming from the House Ways and Means Budget, noting that the  Committee has come in only  less than 1% of the Governor's House Two Amount.  That amount however equals $3 million and will be sought with a floor amendment during House Debate of the budget later this month. 

The disability community is feeling pleased that both the Governor and House Ways and Means Committee have acknowledged that DDS Residential Rates did in fact begin earlier this month on April 1, 2014; and that the state is meeting its commitment to the DDS ALTR provision of the law and carrying it into the FY 15 Budget, though more work needs to be done to nail down specific dollars.

Thank you to the Ways and Means Committee leadership for keeping this process moving.
Employment Blueprint Dollars Cut By HWM Budget
  inclusive employment banner
The news was not as positive regarding the DDS Day and Employment Line Item which contained funding for The Arc/ADDP/DDS Employment Blueprint for Employing People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities in more integrated settings.

As you may recall, The Arc/ADDP/DDS had joined together to write a transition plan on how to move people from sheltered workshops into more integrated settings, including Community Based Day Supports and Supported Employment, in reaction to:
  • Warnings from CMS that the federal matching funds may soon be taken away from funding sheltered workshops
  • Court actions in Oregon and Rhode Island
  • Announcements from the US Departments of Labor and Justice of continued efforts to force states to comply with the ADA in disability employment programs.

Additionally of concern was language put in by the Ways and Means Committee maintaining services at sheltered workshops preventing the expected June 2015 closure of sheltered workshops.  The Arc, ADDP and DDS will seek to have this language withdrawn noting:

  • the language is in conflict with the Employment First policy of the State
  • the language, if finally enacted, has the potential to draw the litigious prone attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts  

The Arc, ADDP and DDS believe a more viable approach is to support the measured approach present in the BLUEPRINT which provides supports welcomed by many families of people currently in sheltered workshops by providing more diverse day activities, including some employment traiing; and supported employment for those who choose to work.  


Some family members have expressed worry about the move to close sheltered workshops and have urged a slowdown, while the larger membership of the developmental disability community has urged a phased in approach as contained in The Arc/ADDP/DDS Blueprint.  Within the disability community the only organized group that has objected to the Blueprint is the small membership of COFAR, the group formed to protest the closure of state institutions.  As a side note the HWM budget does not contain funding for Fernald, slated to close in 2010, which remains open with 7 remaining residents at a cost estimated to be over $6 million.  Those funds will be sought later in a supplemental budget request if needed. 


The Arc, ADDP and DDS hope to continue discussions with the House and Senate leadership to explore how we may be able to work affirmatively to resolve this issue.   

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