Call to Action: Pass The Direct Support Wage Enhancement!
We continue to advocate for The Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) as a stand-alone piece of legislation (S4127/A5268) sponsored by Senator Mannion and Assemblymember Seawright.
Through the DSWE, provider agencies would receive a permanent annual funding allocation of $4,000 per eligible employee to be used for purposes of enhancing the hourly rate of pay for all staff that have direct care/support responsibilities for individuals with I/DD.
This proposed increase of $4,000 equates to approximately $2.19 an-hour for a full-time employee – a necessary amount that will allow DSPs and employees the ability to provide for their families and keep the I/DD sector competitive.
With only four more days left in this session, we must push hard for both houses to recognize this need. We created a one-click campaign so you can quickly send a letter to the legislature in support of the DSWE. Please add your name, and share with family and friends in New York!
The Arc New York Supports OMIG Reforms
The Arc New York New York has signed on to a joint letter with 44 other providers, coalitions, and stakeholders urging the Senate and Assembly to pass legislation to reform the processes of the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG). The bill, S5329-A (Harckham)/A6813 (Paulin), provides protections for Medicaid providers, as well as people related to Medicaid audits performed by the OMIG. Reference our Memorandum of Support for a more complete summary of the provisions.
While the bill in the Senate has steadily moved forward, it is not making sufficient progress in the Assembly. During these last few days of session, we ask that you call and write Assembly leadership, as well as your own representative and urge them to move the bill from committee to the floor for a vote!
Your message to them is clear: It is critical that A6813 is moved to the Assembly floor for a vote and passed before the end of the 2023 legislative session to ensure continued access to care for individuals with Medicaid and the providers who care for them. Last year, similar legislation passed unanimously! We must infuse transparency and fairness in OMIG audits in NYS.
You can participate in the one-click campaign created by one of our NYDA partners, CP State, here
, and call assembly leadership at the numbers below.
Speaker Heastie: 518-455-3791
Ways and Means Chair Weinstein: 518-455-5462
Report on Call to Action to “Save Medicaid”
In our May 19 update, we informed you of an important effort spearheaded by The Arc of the United States to keep Medicaid cuts off the table during debt ceiling negotiations.
We are pleased to report that, in response to this advocacy, the House and Senate passed the legislation necessary to avoid default, while also preserving current Medicaid funding. While no net gains were made in that regard, we were able to have our voice heard during a very contentious time in Washington. The bill will now be sent to President Biden for his signature.
Staten Island Advance Features Laura Kennedy
The Arc of The United States President Laura Kennedy was featured in a story in the Staten Island Advance, which highlighted her 40 years advocating for people with intellectual and developmental (I/DD) and others along the way.
Kennedy is a parent of a woman with a developmental disability, and has been active in The Arc at the federal, state, and local levels for more than three decades. In addition to her current role as President of The Arc of The United States Board of Directors, she served as President of The Arc New York, and President of AHRC NYC, the New York City Chapter of The Arc of New York.
Read more about her impressive body of work and important history on advocacy for people with I/DD here.
Registration Is Open for the Summer Leadership Institute!
Join The Arc of the United States and Arc Chapters from around the country to engage in meaningful discussions and develop skills you can replicate, tailor, and apply directly back into your local communities. Whatever your position and however long you’ve been at The Arc, there is something for everyone! Learn from over 40 nationally recognized speakers and hear from The Arc’s staff around the country who are tackling the same challenges and situations in their own chapters.
The event also features a buddy system where first timers are paired with veteran attendees to guide them through the program and networking opportunities. The best teacher is experience, and whether it's your first SLI or your 20th, your peers have tons to share with you. Register today!