Governor Announces FY 2018 DDA Budget
Governor Hogan released his FY 2018 Proposed Operating Budget on January 18, 2017.
The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Budget includes:
The Governor's budget fully funds Transitioning Youth exiting special education at age 21, all historically anticipated emergency placements, all individuals in the Crisis Resolution Category of the Waiting List (the highest priority of need), and establishes a Waiting List Initiative to start with 800 children, adults and families under two new capped Waivers. The DDA Waiting List is currently 8,000 individuals.
The Budget falls short in meeting the promise of the Direct Support Professionals Wage Increase, mandated at 3.5% in FY 2018. The Minimum Wage Act of 2014 created a mandate of a 3.5% rate increase annually over 4 years for DDA community services from FY 2016-2019. This increase is critical to maintaining a DDA reimbursement rate that remains above minimum wage and was intended to provide stability and financial resources to a workforce already facing severe shortages. Instead, the Governor's Proposed Budget funds 2 % increase - $15M short per the mandated level in the law. DDA also reverted $17M of unused funds during FY 2016 to the General Fund.
Legislative budget hearings on the DDA Budget will be held on March 1 and 2. For more information, contact Cristine Marchand, Executive Director, The Arc Maryland at email@example.com. More information will be provided on state budgets of interest to people with developmental disabilities and their families and what you can do.