July 20, 2017

On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million from the legislature's state budget, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of the reductions mean uncertainty for many people and this will be heightened by the continued uncertainty caused by Capitol Hill policy makers. Although we believe that the legislature will override the Governor's vetoes, we don't know for certain. 
This week US Senate Majority Leader McConnell said, "Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful." He added that he will keep trying. Those attempts may affect both the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Again, an uncertain future is leaving states, service providers, and recipients in confusion. 
In a 2016 Forbes opinion piece, Neil Howe wrote, "When we leave our comfort zone, everything changes. We no longer know how the world works. We become anxious and fearful... Minutes turn into hours." In confusion, Howe says people act. We know many people with disabilities will be wondering about their future. They will be looking for certainty. 
But it's not about just this year. Are we facing a decade-long fight over Medicaid and health care? What will that mean for the services that our constituents require?  Multiply the clouds caused by today's uncertainty hundred-fold!   
When we face uncertainty, we often avoid planning for the future. When we act quickly, disappointing outcomes follow. Let's not bend to uncertainty. Let's act where we know we can make a difference.  Join us in building a more certain future!   
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director    
Save The Date: Transition Conference 2017
Plans are underway for the all-day Transition Conference on Saturday, November 4 at College of the Holy Cross. The day will be packed with information on the essentials of transition and best practices. Registration opens at the end of August. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibiting at the conference, contact Kerry Mahoney@arcmass.org or 781 891-6270 x 109.
Safeguards for our Adult Children ... what are the options?
Attorney Fred Misilo of Fletcher Tilton will walk you through options for supported decision making and guardianship in the newest video on our YouTube channel.  
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
Uncertainty Will Affect Services
On July 7, we saw some hard-fought gains reduced as the legislature had to address declining revenues for the Commonwealth. We lost $23 million in funding in the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) relative to the Governor's proposed budget and the House and Senate budget bills.   
Unfortunately, Governor Baker added to the reductions on July 17 by vetoing nearly $7 million in community residential services and hundreds of thousands in other line items.  This means we have our work cut out for us. We are hopeful veto overrides will take place in all the DDS budget reductions over the summer.
We look forward to advocating for veto overrides this summer as well as restoration of other funding later in the fall. But we need your stories to be effective and eventually we will need your participation. If you or someone you know is in need of ANY services at DDS and/or MassHealth services (AFC or other), PLEASE share your stories. We have a form on the Supporting Families page located here.
Please don't wait. We have lots of education to do - not only policymakers but everyday voters! Thank you.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Financial Literacy for Students with Special Needs
Representatives from PwC will discuss financial literacy education for individuals with disabilities. The discussion will focus on how these skills contribute to long term independence and dignity, and available resources for teaching. We will explain the role that saving, budgeting, purchase decisions and financial safety play in the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Presented By: Scott Borchardt
Scott is a Partner in PwC's Asset and Wealth Management Practice.  Scott is a co-leader of the PwC Boston office employee resource group (ERG) that supports employees with disabilities and caregivers.  Under Scott's leadership, members of the ERG have partnered with several community organizations to host sessions about financial literacy to individuals with disabilities.  He is currently serving as the Secretary of The Arc of Massachusetts board of directors.  
  Financial assistance is available. Contact Kerry  Mahoney@arcmass.org 
Did you miss a webinar ?

 It is not too late! You can view the recorded webinar using The Arc's on demand feature.  To view click here and select "view session recordings."
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