June 29, 2017

Thinking about Our Children and Grandchildren
The reductions and changes in two proposed federal health care bills and President Trump's budget will have an even bigger negative impact on our children and grandchildren. This week the Senate pulled back a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), its health care proposal. This continues to worry us. After all, the House had pulled back its version in March only to pass it several weeks later. Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc of the US, on March 27 said: "I want to warn advocates that this is a delay, not a defeat of this threat. The bill is still an assault on the rights of people with disabilities." You can read more of his comments here.
Governor Charlie Baker wrote to our DC delegation about the BCRA, "Our analysis indicates that the BCRA would increasingly strain the state's fiscal resources, result in greater numbers of individuals without insurance and destabilize the commercial insurance market."
Meanwhile, the President's budget also has distressing news for children and adults with disabilities. It would further reduce Medicaid, adding to the hit from the proposed health care bills. The President's budget also expands school choice (or portability of education funds) with a $250 million school voucher program. Over time, one-third of existing federal aid for education will transfer to such a fund. This means public schools will lose money to charter and other private schools, impacting special education resources.  As a parent of a school age child with a disability, you may consider such a choice.  The Arc of the US put together some questions to consider and it will assist you to make a thoughtful decision. We have posted the questions here under "school choice checklist."
Your advocacy is not only important for today but for tomorrow, for our children and grandchildren!
Click here for the School Choice Checklist
Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director    
Make A Lasting Difference
Friday, June 30 is an important day for The Arc of Massachusetts: it is the end of our fiscal year. This year is particularly significant as we not only finish the fundraising for the 2016-17 annual fund, but also try to raise the final gifts for the Home for the Future Capital Campaign challenge.
You can make a lasting difference by supporting The Arc of Massachusetts with a gift today. Only with your commitment and generosity will people with intellectual and developmental disabilities get the services and supports that they need and deserve.
You can help us remain at the forefront of the struggle to build better lives for all members of the community. Your dedication makes all the difference. Please consider making a gift today to either (or both!) the annual fund or the Home for the Future Campaign.
Can we count on you to help us finish the year strong?

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRSgovernmentaffairs
2018 State Budget Update:
One month budget for July 2018 passed

Budget Conference Committee leaders Senator Karen Spilka and Rep. Brian Dempsey
The House and Senate passed a one month budget on June 26 and it was signed by the Governor on the same day.  As reported last week, lower than expected state tax revenues and the possible reduction of Medicaid by Congress has delayed finalizing the state budget. We hope that needed services aren't delayed as well. Stay tuned.
In the meantime recent regulation changes in the Adult Family or Foster Care Program (AFC) has caused some higher than expected disqualifications for services. The Arc will work with MassHealth and other stakeholders to resolve these difficulties.

This webinar will focus on the use of Person Centered Planning in creating seamless transitions to adult services for students ages 14-22. Participants will look back at the historical perspectives of student planning, learn why a person centered approach makes sense and view methods of person centered planning. This workshop will provide examples of student outcomes and highlight best practices.
Presented By:
Pat Pakos, MS
Kerry Mahoney, The Arc of MA
  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."
WHAT'S TRENDINGwhatstrending
Part-Time Positions Available
The Arc of Massachusetts is currently seeking two coordinators to develop the Advocacy Alliance. The Alliance will work with chapters and others to strengthen advocacy and awareness on the regional level by coaching staff, family members and self-advocates on policy, legislative issues, and systems change. The coordinators will help local groups function effectively, assist with social media, outreach to build local capacity and provide training.  Qualifications include experience with legislators, strong interpersonal skills, among other things. Positions begin in September on a 36-week basis for $25/hr. Learn more here. Please send a cover letter and resume no later than July 15 to arcmass@arcmass.org. Only email applications will be accepted.
Screening of "The Wounds We Cannot See"
Presented by Disability Policy Consortium 

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Boston NonProfit Center
89 South Street | Boston
6:00 - 9:00 PM

Please note the movie is captioned and ASL interpreters have been requested for the question and answer session.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTsponsorspotlight

The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |   arcmass.org