The state operating budget is crafted every two years to provide funding for state and local programs. The year, House Bill 49 was introduced to begin the discussion of how best to fund state agencies and local initiatives. Debate over the state budget is happening right now and is slated to be completed by June 30, 2017.
There are a couple of key pieces addressed in this budget that are being evaluated for funding and/or changes to funding that largely have impact on many individuals with Down syndrome and their families. We view advocacy on the following line items as critical:
- Oppose changes to Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) funding, particularly a dramatic decrease in income guidelines for families.
- Support the Ohio Department of Developmental Disability’s proposed budget, As Introduced, which proposes additional funding for 1,300 new waivers, increased reimbursement to pay Direct Support Professionals, and expansion of technology to support community independence.
Currently, the Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services is reviewing the proposed budget line items… which means now is the time to let them, as well as other Ohio House Representatives, know how we feel! Not sure who your local Representative is or what district you’re in? Click here for a listing by county.
We encourage you to use these templates as a base, but want to empower you to share your story! Emails, hand-written notes, typed letters, or phone calls are all effective strategies– so please choose whatever method works best for you. Has BCMH provided a safety net for your family to assist with medical expenses? Has your child been on a waiting list for years? Do you have high staff turnover due to low wages? Your local legislators want to hear your story to better understand why this funding is critical to you and other families in our community!
Please contact Kari Jones with any questions. THANK YOU for doing your part to effect a change!