June 17, 2021
Supporting the Direct Care Workforce Campaign
As part of The Arc New York advocacy strategy and efforts to support our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and secure workforce investment, we are have launched a new online DSP campaign and are engaging in a continued conversation with our NYS congressional representatives surrounding The American Job’s Plan (AJP) proposed by President Biden.

The AJP includes a major investment of over $2 trillion, with $400 billion allocated to expand access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and support the direct care workforce. Although recent news reports have signaled a pared down package, we will continue to fight for this national investment in our care infrastructure. 

To further aid in supporting the DSP workforce, we are asking legislators to support the HCBS Access Act (HAA) proposed by Senators Hassan, Casey and Brown, and Congresswoman Dingell. This legislation would expand HCBS, eliminate waiting lists, and pave the way for much deserved DSP compensation, recognition, and career paths. Additional pieces of legislation we are calling on legislators to sponsor are S.1437 - Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, and H.R.2999 - Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act.

The Arc US previously launched their #medicaidcantwait campaign focused on how the AJP investment would transform HCBS as a whole. If you have not yet participated in the national campaign, please do so in conjunction with The Arc NY DSP campaign, which ties this federal investment specifically to the NYS workforce crisis.

New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) conducted a workforce survey of voluntary provider agencies across New York state to support our advocacy efforts. A story on the survey results and the escalating workforce crisis ran in Spectrum News today.
The Arc US AEI Strategic Planning
The Arc of the United States is planning for the next phase of their Access, Equity, and Inclusion (AEI) efforts and are soliciting input on this important initiative.

They are currently in the first phase of the AEI strategic planning process. In this phase, The Arc Board's AEI Committee and the AEI Team of the national office are focused on gathering input from a variety of stakeholders to create the overall vision, goals, and framework to guide their future work. They will develop strategies, tactics, and measurable outcomes based on this input.

In an effort to create a plan that will resonate with and help support the AEI efforts of all constituents, including chapters, The Arc US has created a National Stakeholder Survey. It should take about 20 minutes to complete. The deadline to complete the survey is July 1.

Questions or comments about the AEI strategic planning process? Email [email protected].
Legislation Supported by The Arc New York Passes Senate and Assembly
Three bills supported by The Arc New York passed both houses of the legislature prior to the end of session last week. If signed into law, these bills would require The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to provide a "scorecard" with details of any savings and investment initiatives within the executive budget, modify which body appoints members to the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council, and require OPWDD to evaluate the state's emergency response to COVID-19.

These bills represent a significant step towards greater budget transparency and representation in New York state. 

  • S6292 - Requires OPWDD to submit a detailed report of proposed savings and investment initiatives within the executive budget 
  • S6293 - Relates to the appointment of members to the developmental disabilities advisory council 
  • S6294 - Requires OPWDD to evaluate the state's response to the COVID-19 state disaster emergency for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities 
Representatives Reintroduce SSI Restoration Act
On June 8, Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) reintroduced the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act (H.R.3763). The bill would enhance the SSI program by updating the general income disregard to $123 per month, adjusting the earned income disregard to $399 per month, and increasing the resource limits to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples. Congress has not adjusted these limits in many years. In addition, the SSI Restoration Act would repeal SSI’s in-kind support and maintenance provisions, as well as penalties for resource transfers, marriage, and state tax credits. 

This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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