We have been hearing some concerning news around the Capitol about possible budget cuts to human services programs in order to fill a budget "hole" of around $140 million, or possibly higher.Although it's still early in the 2015 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature is well into the process of putting together the State's 2015-17 budget that will fund agency programs, services and functions for the next two years. The DHS Budget Bill (
) is still in committee which means that there are important budget decisions being made right now that could impact the Developmental Disability programs and services you rely on.
If developmental disability services make a difference in your life,
now is the time to advocate for them!
Human services matter. Only when people and families are supported to be healthy and safe can children learn in school and adults contribute their communities. Human services provide the foundation for health and safety so people can help build our communities.
The DD Coalition identified the following four priorities (all social determinants of health) as the key to a full life in the community :
Continue to fund employment outcomes for people with I/DD, so that all people have opportunities to work and contribute to their community.
2. Brokerage and CDDP Workload Model Budget at 95%:
Fund workload model at proposed 95% equity for CDDPs and Brokerages to that all people have the necessary case management to remain safe and supported at home, work and in the community.
3. Fairview Trust:
Keep the promise of community housing opportunities for people with I/DD and restore the Fairview Trust so that people can access safe and affordable housing.
4. Direct Support Professional Wages:
Raise the wage for Direct Support Professionals that help people live, learn, work, play and age in our communities.
YOU CAN HELP!
Please take a few minutes this week to reach out to your legislators and share your story about how each of these important investments have helped you or your family members live a full life in the community.
2. To help you in communicating with your Legislators, we have included talking points on these legislative priorities in this Bulletin.
Reach out to the members of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Services, to share your story about how each of these important investments have helped you or your family members live a full life in the community. The following are the members of the Subcommittee on Human Services:
Representative Deborah Boone, Member
Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, Member
Representative Andy Olson, Member
Representative Duane Stark, Member
Senator Alan Bates, Co-Chair
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Member
Senator Jackie Winters, Member
Linda Ames, Subcommittee Administrator
Oregon Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Coalition
Legislative Priorities & Talking Points
Continue funding to improve employment outcomes for people with I/DD.
- Oregon is strongest when people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are employed in their community and pursuing careers, just like people without disabilities.
- In 2013, the legislature invested in improving the employment services Oregon provides to people with I/DD in order to provide the best opportunities for these individuals to successfully work in their communities, consistent with their abilities and choices.
- In addition to continuing these important investments, the legislature must make the additional investments identified in the Governor's 2015-2017 budget and DHS Policy Option Package 104 to ensure that people with I/DD have the supports they need to be successful at real jobs in their communities as part of living a full life.
2. Brokerage and CDDP Workload Model Budget:
Fund the workload model at the proposed 95% equity for CDDPs and Brokerages.
- Oregon has been a leader in intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) services that allow people to live in their own homes with access to their community.
- Support Service Brokerages and Community Developmental Disability Programs provide case management and other supports for people with I/DD to live and work as members of their communities.
- These entities have experienced a significant increase in workload associated with implementing the Community First Choice (K Plan), Employment First initiative and Executive Orders, CMS requirements, and a new payment system (eXPRS).
- It is critical to fund Support Service Brokerages and Community Developmental Disability Programs at the Governor's proposed 95% equity in the workload model.
3. Fairview Trust:
Keep the promise of community housing opportunities for people with I/DD and restore the Fairview Trust.
- The Fairview Trust is a promise to Oregonians with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) that Oregon will create and maintain community housing opportunities for them (ORS 427.335). The trust has helped thousands of Oregonians with I/DD to live in their communities - and it must be restored to help thousands more.
- The Trust was created with the $12.9 million of the proceeds from the sale of the Fairview Training Center. Fairview segregated thousands of people with I/DD away from their communities and families for nearly a century.
- In 2011, the Trust "loaned" $6.9 million to the general fund. This loan has never been repaid. The 2015-2017 Governor's Budget removes all funding from the Trust.
- Please keep the promise of community housing for Oregonians with I/DD by doing the following:
- Restore the Fairview Trust to $12.9 million, which includes repaying the 2011 loan taken from the trust;
- Invest the funds in an interest bearing account (SB 616); and
- Form a Task Force to develop a strategic plan to move community housing for people with I/DD into the 21st Century (SB 617).
4. DSP Wages:
Raise the wage for Direct Support Professionals.
- DSP's are the key to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live and work in their communities.
- The wages are far below the level needed to make a living so are destabilizing the workforce and undermine system capacity to provide these essential supports.
- Please support a living wage for Direct Support Professionals by approving a $38.6 million appropriation to DHS for DSP wage increase.
 "Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks...Examples include: Availability of resources to meet daily needs (e.g., safe housing), Access to educational, economic and job opportunities...availability of community-based resources in support of community living, transportation options..." Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health (Accessed March 24, 2015).