The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
Week of Session: January 29 to February 4, 2023
Stay up to date on legislation through our Bill Tracker! View position statements, access bill text, and check hearing times and dates.
DDA FY24 Draft Budget Highlights Released
Last week, The Maryland Conference of Executives of The Arc, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition, and The Arc Maryland's Governmental Affairs Committee met with DDA Deputy Secretary Bernie Simons to review the Governor's FY24 draft budget for the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Governor Moore’s FY24 budget includes the 4% rate increase for FY24, and funding for an additional 8% rate increase for FY24 to address the Governor’s legislative priority of accelerating the minimum wage to $15. The total increase for rates is approximately $168 million, contingent on passing the House and Senate, and a portion of which is contingent on the passage of the Minimum Wage escalation bill.
 
In addition to the service rate increases, additional DDA budget components include:
  • $20 million to adjust/fix LTSS rates to account for transportation and meaningful day service needs that were identified through the rate review process.
  • $11.4 million for Transitioning Youth: young adults exiting High School after 21.
  • $10.1 million to serve people on the Waiting List in the Crisis Resolution and Crisis Prevention need categories.
  • $1.5 million for Waiting List Equity Fund to serve individuals with the oldest caregivers on the Waiting List.
  • $1 million for Emergency Placements.
 
As introduced, Governor Moore’s FY24 budget for DDA is $1.8 billion and contains a 20% increase in funding for DD Services and Supports over the FY23 budget.
 
You can review the DDA Budget highlights through the button below. Please note that the highlighted section on rate increases in this DDA Budget Fact Sheet does not include the accurate, detailed description of how increases are applied as mentioned above.
The graphic below from the budget briefing shows the increase in DDA funds as well as other budgeted increases ($168.6 million) from the State's General Fund for FY24.
TOP BILLS OF THE WEEK
"Burden of Proof" Legislation
Position: Support all Bills

Current Status:
HB0294 In House W&M hearing 2/8 at 1 PM
HB0120 In House W&M hearing was on 1/24
HB0373 In House W&M first reading
HB0381 In House W&M first reading

A number of bills introduced this legislative session would shift the burden of proof from the families to the schools in special education due process proceedings. If passed, the change in law would require a county board of education to bear the burden of proof in due process proceedings that initiate from a due process complaint (regarding the provision of special education services for a program for a child with disabilities) in the county in which the county board is located.

There are three local bills to address this issue: Harford (HB0120), Howard (HB0373), and Baltimore City and County (HB0381). In addition, Delegate Atterbeary is the sponsor on legislation (HB0294) that would enable this shift statewide. Some other states have moved the burden of proof to schools with success. Delegate Griffith testified last week in Ways and Means that due process complaints initially increased in one state after the law change, the complaints then decreased over time as schools enhanced communication and collaboration with families to ensure interventions in the IEP were effective.

If you are a parent or person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability and have experienced issues with your IEP we need your stories and testimony. If you have gone through challenging your child's IEP through Due Process, or chose not to challenge school administration because you were dissuaded by the current status of the process, we want to hear from you! If you are interested in providing testimony for the bill affecting your county or the statewide version, contact Ande Kolp at akolp@thearcmd.org to get started.
HB0215 - Real Property - Limitations on Summoning Law Enforcement or Emergency Services - Prohibition
Link to Bill Text: HB0215

Position: Support

Current Status: In House JUD Hearing 2/1 at 1 PM

This bill would prohibit the eviction of tenants for utilizing emergency public services, such as law enforcement, fire department, and emergency medical services; and prohibits local jurisdictions from passing ordinances that penalize owners and tenants of housing who utilize emergency public services.

In Maryland, when a person with a disability is experiencing a mental health or behavioral health crisis – such as suicide, agitation, and depression – and calls 9-1-1, it is police who respond. As a result, we have too frequently seen the utilization of emergency services by families with disabilities be used as a cause for eviction.

The Arc Maryland signed on to testimony prepared by Disability Rights Maryland to support this legislation, ensuring protections for tenants who need and access help from first responders.
Behavioral Health Legislation
Position: Support

Current Status:
SB0101 In Senate FIN hearing 1/31 at 1 PM
SB0026 In Senate FIN hearing 2/2 at 1 PM
SB0108 In Senate FIN hearing 2/2 at 1 PM

A number of bills related to behavioral health in Maryland have been introduced this session. If any of the bills below interest you, The Arc Maryland is searching for people to testify! Contact Ande Kolp at akolp@thearcmd.org for more information.

SB0101 (Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Collaborative Care Model Services – Implementation and Reimbursement Expansion) intends to improve cross-disciplinary communication and coordination of care across the health system and expedite access to critical behavioral healthcare services.

SB0026 (Maryland Medical Assistance Program, Maryland Children's Health Program,
and Social Services Programs - Eligibility and Enrollment) would create somewhat of a one-stop shop for individuals to have deemed eligibility for programs based on eligibility in others. It will help improve processing time for applications where individuals are clearly eligible based on their acceptance to other needs-based programs.

SB0108 (Health Insurance – Annual Behavioral Health Wellness Visits – Coverage and Reimbursement) would require certain health insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage and certain reimbursement for annual behavioral health wellness visits.
HB0095 - Education - Student Behavior - Parent and Guardian Notice and Required Counseling (Parent and Guardian Accountability Act)
Link to Bill Text: HB0069

Position: Oppose

Current Status: In House W&M Hearing 2/1 at 1 PM

This legislation would establish that it is unlawful for a parent or guardian of a student in a public school to fail to seek and participate in counseling with the parent's or guardian's child after receiving notice of violent and disruptive behavior. It would also require a public school principal to provide written notice to the parent or guardian of a student who engages in two or more incidents of violent and disruptive behavior in a public school during the school year.

This would put an undue burden on families of students with disabilities and is not appropriate. It is not supported by trauma-informed care models, and is generally against good education practices. The Arc Maryland has signed onto written testimony from the Education Advocacy Coalition in opposition of this bill. You can read the testimony below.
SB0094/HB0040 - Places of Public Accommodation and Public Buildings - Gender-Inclusive Signage
Link to Bill Text: SB0084 HB0040

Position: Support

Current Status: SB0084 in Senate JPR hearing 1/31 at 1 PM
HB0040 in House EMC hearing 2/8 at 1 PM

This bill would allow for gender-inclusive signage to improve access for all, including people with disabilities who need support in the bathroom from a caregiver of a different gender.
EVENTS AND IMPORTANT DATES
Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature
February 22nd, 8 AM to 11 AM
Are you ready for the largest gathering of disability rights advocates in Maryland? Save the date for Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature! This year, we will gather on February 22 at The Graduate Hotel in Annapolis!

We are holding DD Day in person this year, with streaming online for those who wish to attend virtually. Tickets for the in-person event are sold out, but you can join a waitlist in case additional tickets become available! Join by contacting Luc Chausse at lchausse@thearcmd.org.

For those who plan to watch the live stream, go to the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition Facebook page and follow us to receive a timely notification when the stream is live on DD Day!
HEARING SCHEDULE
Tuesday, January 31st at 1:00 PM in House APP
  • HB0108 - Human Services - Universal Basic Income for Transition-Age Youth - Establishment
Tuesday, January 31st at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0101 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Collaborative Care Model Services – Implementation and Reimbursement Expansion
Tuesday, January 31st at 1:00 PM in Senate JPR
  • SB0084 - Places of Public Accommodation and Public Buildings - Gender-Inclusive Signage
Tuesday, January 31st at 1:00 PM in House W&M
  • HB0022 - Election Law - Absentee Ballots - Signature Requirements and Verification
  • HB0035 - Elections - In-Person Voting - Proof of Identity
  • HB0041 - Election Law - Curbside Voting - Establishment
Tuesday, January 31st at 2:30 PM in House E&T
  • HB0060 - Housing Innovation Pilot Program and Housing Innovation Fund - Establishment (Housing Innovation Pilot Program Act of 2023)
Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0108 - Health Insurance – Annual Behavioral Health Wellness Visits – Coverage and Reimbursement
Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 PM in House W&M
  • HB0069 - Education - Student Behavior - Parent and Guardian Notice and Required Counseling (Parent and Guardian Accountability Act)
  • HB0085 - Education - Collective Bargaining - Certificated Employees - Class Size
  • HB0185 - Nonpublic Schools and Child Care Providers - Corporal Punishment - Prohibition
Wednesday, February 1st at 2:30 PM in House JUD
  • HB0215 - Real Property - Limitations on Summoning Law Enforcement or Emergency Services - Prohibition
Thursday, February 2nd at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0026 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program, Maryland Children's Health Program, and Social Services Programs - Eligibility and Enrollment
Tuesday, February 7th at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0154 - Public Health – Mental Health Advance Directives – Awareness and Statewide Database
  • SB0168 - Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council - Establishment
  • SB0188 - Public Health - Rare Disease Advisory Council
  • SB0201 - Maryland Medical Assistance and Children's Health Insurance Programs - School-Based Behavioral Health Services - Reimbursement
  • SB0231 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Autism Waiver - Military Families
Tuesday, February 7th at 1:00 PM in House APP
  • HB0368 - State Personnel – Executive Branch Service Contracts – Policy, Certification, and Notification
Tuesday, February 7th at 2:00 PM in Senate EEE
  • SB0223 - State Government – State Facilities Changes and Closures – Procedures
Tuesday, February 7th at 3:00 PM in House HGO
  • HB0048 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Collaborative Care Model Services – Implementation and Reimbursement Expansion
  • HB0111 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program, Maryland Children's Health Program, and Social Services Programs - Eligibility and Enrollment
  • HB0271 - 9–8–8 Trust Fund – Funding
Wednesday, February 8th at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0202 - Prescription Drug Affordability Board - Upper Payment Limits
Wednesday, February 8th at 1:00 PM in Senate EEE
  • SB0095 - Counties - Construction of Sidewalks and Crosswalks - Safe Alternative Routes to Public Schools
Wednesday, February 8th at 1:00 PM in House EMC
  • HB0040 - Places of Public Accommodation and Public Buildings - Gender-Inclusive Signage
Wednesday, February 8th at 1:00 PM in House W&M
  • HB0222 - Baltimore County and Frederick County - Career Activities in Public High Schools - Sale of Coffee by Students With Individualized Education Programs
  • HB0265 - Public Schools - Standardized Behavioral Health Questionnaire for Students - Development and Implementation
  • HB0272 - Public School Systems - Performance Audits - Office of the Inspector General for Education
  • HB0292 - Child Care Providers - Registration and Licensing - Exemptions
  • HB0294 - Places of Public Accommodation and Public Buildings - Gender-Inclusive Signage
Thursday, February 9th at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0180 - Residential Service Agencies - Reimbursement - Personal Assistance Services
  • SB0206 - Education - Collective Bargaining - Certificated Employees - Class Size
  • SB0230 - Residential Service Agencies - Employee Registry
Please Note: the following abbreviations identify the Legislative Committees in the Assembly:
House of Delegates:
APP - Appropriations
EMC - Economic Matters
E&T - Environment and Transportation
HGO - Health and Government Operations
HRU - Rules and Executive Nominations
JUD - Judiciary
W&M - Ways and Means
Senate:
B&T - Budget and Taxation
EEE - Education,Energy, and the Environment
EXN - Executive Nominations
FIN - Finance
JPR - Judicial Proceedings
SRU - Rules
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