MDOD Newsletter                                                                             January 2019

2019 Legislative Session Open

The 439th session of the Maryland General Assembly opened January 9, 2019. Governor Hogan welcomed the lawmakers with commitments to bipartisanship and cooperation. Disability related bills being considered during the session are posted on our website . Posting does not reflect presence or absence of departmental support of the legislation.

Celebrating Governor Hogan's Inauguration

Wendi Peters, Special Secretary of Smart Growth; First Lady Mrs.Yumi Hogan; Carol Beatty, Secretary Department of Disabilities; Rona Kramer, Secretary Department of Aging; pause for a photo prior to the gubernatorial inauguration January 16th. 

It's a New Year & we're welcoming new faces

Former Delegate Christian J. Miele, Esq. was appointed Deputy Secretary of Maryland Department of Disabilities. Former Deputy Secretary Bill Frank accepted a new position at the Department of Budget and Management earlier this month. Miele's legislative accomplishments include passing the  Hire Our Veterans Ac t,  Janet's Law, and anti-bullying legislation for Baltimore County Public Schools. He also co-sponsored legislation that established the  Maryland ABLE Program.   He resides in Perry Hall with his wife and one year old son. Welcome Christian!

We also welcome Chelsea Hayman, our new Director of Housing Policy and Programs. Most recently Ms. Hayman was Outreach and Communications Manager for MD ABLE  Her previous housing experience was with Civic Works, managing the Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors Program, a collaborative aging-in-place and single family housing rehabilitation program. She is an avid cyclist and volunteers as a handy person for older adult homeowners in Baltimore, doing minor repairs and maintenance to the houses of clients served by Civic Works. We are thrilled to have her join our team!

Deputy Secretary Miele at MACS breakfast

MDOD is out & about across the state

Deputy Secretary Christian J. Miele addressed the  Maryland Association of Community Services  (MACS)  at their annual legislative breakfast in Annapolis January 17. Much of the conversation that morning focused on the state minimum wage increase and the effect on direct support professionals. More information about the bills MACS is following is on their public policy page.

seated: Kelly and Jessica Gappa, Director of Community Impact Comcast Cable
standing: Abby, Executive Director Don Rowe, board member Erica, and Secretary Carol Beatty

Secretary Beatty attended  The  Arc of Carroll County   Tech Center Open House January 24. The center provides technology related resources to those served by Arc Carroll and was possible through a partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal.  The presentation included impressive demonstrations by participants who have developed skills in typing, coding, and design. More details are in this article by local reporter Catalina Righter, Carroll County Times.

The Governor released the FY2020 budget Jan. 17
Here are some highlights:

  • $77 million in Community First Choice funding to keep older adults and adults with disabilities out of nursing homes is  allotted. 
  • Nearly $130 million is provided in FY 2020 to fund a 3.5 percent rate increase for behavioral health and developmental disabilities service providers and a 3 percent rate increase for most other healthcare providers. Included in this total is $42.5 million for the Developmental Disabilities Administration to benefit direct-care workers serving some of Maryland's most vulnerable individuals.


  • $10 million in capital grants is provided to local school systems to make safety-related improvements to school facilities; an additional $3.5 million is included for safety improvements at non-public schools.
  • $250,000 to support a college or university to develop an inclusive post-secondary education program for people with intellectual disabilities is included.
  • $200 million in state funding is provided to implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.

Developmental Disabilities

  • $12 million is included for Transitioning Youth services--employment or day supports for all eligible youth transitioning from school to employment or day supports.
  • The FY 2020 budget provides $1.3 billion for developmental disabilities community services, including an additional $46 million to expand services and nearly $15 million to continue two waiver programs to reduce the waiting list.

Behavioral Health

  • To expand behavioral health crisis response programs and services, the governor's budget provides $3 million for grants to local behavioral health authorities.
  • The FY 2020 governor's allowance includes $247.8 million in general funds for substance use disorder services, a $41.8 million or 20 percent increase over FY 2019 levels.
  • Almost $250 million for substance use disorder services--licensed substance use treatment beds more than doubled from 1,500 in January 2017 to 3,300 in September 2018.

WYPR host, Sheila Kast, talks with Patti Saylor and Lisa Schoenbrodt about the Ethan Saylor Alliance

Listen to the interview about how a ctors with intellectual and developmental disabilities perform training scenarios to improve law enforcement encounters with people with disabilities.
Mark your calendars. . .


The Children's Mental Health Matters! Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady's Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display is being held in Annapolis in May 6.  


The 3rd Annual Special Olympics Maryland 2019 Brave in the Attempt, FORWARD, a TED-talk style event, will be June 4 at Towson University.