February 8, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

Dear (Contact First Name),

Last week there was an embarrassing spelling mistake in the Update (thank you auto-correct).  People with screen readers really caught it.  we appreciated the heads up.  We accidentally cited the Massachusetts Commission of the "Dead" instead of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  My apologies.

We have a lot more budget news for you this week including the actual numbers.   We also have info on another attempt by the administration to control MassHealth benefits without legislative oversight.  There is also a proposal to cut the income of families living on TAFDC and SSI.  This is courtesy of the warm and fuzzy Charlie Baker we met on the campaign trail!  This proposal will harm children and families.

We also have several events in our calendar, and a job opening at MCB.  

As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC News:  House 2 Numbers
 
Account Account Name  FY 16  Final Budget  FY 17 House 2  Impact Compared to FY 16
MOD
1107-2400 Massachusetts Office On Disability 702,535 651,516 -51,019 -7%
MRC
4120-0200 Independent Living Centers 6,130,018 6,130,018    -
4120-1000 Administration 418,811 346,487 -72,324 -17%
4120-2000 Vocational Rehabilitation  10, 260, 724   10, 260, 724    -
4120--3000 Supported Employment Services 2,246,935 2,188,102 -58,833 -3%
4120-4000 Independent Living Assistance  95,12574     9,423, 606 -88,968 -1%
4120-4001 Housing Registry 80,000 80,000    -
4120-4005 Living Independently for Equality 30,000                                 - -30,000 -100%
4120-4010 Turning 22 Programs and Services 749,665 672,538 -77,127 -10%
4120-5000 Homemaker Services 4,280,684 4,313,481 32,797 1%
4120-6000  Head Injury Treatment Services 15,817,983 15,898,808 80,825 1%
Total 49,527,394 49,313,764 -213,630 0%
MCB
4110-0001  Administration and Operations 1,461,023 1,368,933 -92,090 -6%
411-1000  Community Services and Independent Living 4,196,305 4,175,682 -20,623 0%
4110-2000  Turning 22 and Deaf  Blind Extended Supports 13,159,408 13,183,460 24,052 0%
4110-3010  Vocational Rehabilitation 3,340,735 3,340,735   -
Total 22,157,471 22,068,810 -88,661 0%
MCDHH
4125-0100  Operations 5,645,031 5,411,403 -233,628 -4%
Total 5,645,031 5,411,403 -233,628 -4%
DTA
4400-1000 Dept of Transitional Assistance Administration & Operation 64,427,943 66,298,663 1,870,720 3%
4400-1001 Food Stamp Participation Rate Programs 3,116,586 3,380,006 263,420 8%
4400-1025 Domestic Violence Specialists 1,046,651 1,373,491 326,840 31%
4400-1100 Caseworkers Reserve 70,833,479 72,296,441 1,462,962 2%
4400-1979 Pathways to Self Sufficiency 3,000,000 15,077,024 12,077,024 403%
4401-1000 Employment Services Program 12,110,000 12,413,060 303,060 3%
4403-2000 Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children Grant Pmt 221,480,089 181,244,244 -40,235,845 -18%
4403-2007 Supplemental Nutritional Program 1,200,000 1,200,000 0 0%
4403-2008 Transportation Benefits for SNAP Work Program Participants 0 2,600,000 2,600,000
4403-2119 Teen Structured Settings Program 9,854,932 10,029,832 174,900 2%
4405-2000 State Supplement to Supplemental Security Income 226,951,608 227,080,187 128,579 0%
4408-1000 Emergency Aid to the Elderly Disabled and Children 76,200,527 79,170,972 2,970,445 4%
TOTAL 690,221,815 672,163,920 -18,057,895 -3%
DMH
5011-0100 Department of Mental Health Administration and Operations 28,570,221 27,443,275 -1,126,946 -4%
5042-5000 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services 87,034,610 88,085,318 1,050,708 1%
5046-0000 Adult Mental Health and Support Services 375,349,785 382,654,252 7,304,467 2%
5046-0005 Adult Community Based Placements 0 0 0
5046-0006 Adult Community-Based Placements 4,000,000 0 -4,000,000 -100%
5046-2000 Statewide Homelessness Support Services 21,134,979 22,942,401 1,807,422 9%
5046-4000 CHOICE Program Retained Revenue 125000 0 -125,000 -100%
5047-0001 Emergency Services and Mental Health Care 24,258,428 24,351,834 93,406 0%
5055-0000 Forensic Services Program for Mentally Ill Persons 9,183,472 9,147,943 -35,529 0%
5095-0015 Inpatient Facilities and Community Based Mental Health 190,325,165 205,798,658 15,473,493 8%
5095-1016 Occupancy Fees Retained Revenue 500,000 0 -500,000 -100%
TOTAL 740,481,660 761,038,511 20,556,851 3%
DDS
5911-1003 DDS Service Coordination and Administration 69,596,985 69,893,990 297,005 0%
5911-2000 Transportation Services 21,996,018 22,651,781 655,763 3%
5920-2000 Community Residential Services for Developmentally Disabled 1,084,666,855 1,110,427,449 25,760,594 2%
5920-2010 State Operated Residential Services 214,737,045 218,453,948 3,716,903 2%
5920-2025 Community Day and Work Programs 183,209,830 192,196,335 8,986,505 5%
5920-2026 Community Based Employment 3,000,000 7,645,000 4,645,000 155%
5920-3000 Respite Family Supports for the Developmentally Disabled 55,933,705 62,739,395 6,805,690 12%
5920-3010 Autism Division 6,085,431 6,482,270 396,839 7%
5920-3020 Autism Omnibus 12,667,109 12,434,095 -233,014 -2%
5920-3025 Aging with Developmental Disabilities 250000 250000 0 0%
5920-5000 Turning 22 Program and Services 7,000,000 7,000,000 0 0%
5930-1000 State Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled 110,998,314 109,853,183 -1,145,131 -1%
5982-1000 Templeton Farm Product Sales Retained Revenue 0 0 0
TOTAL 1,770,141,292 1,820,027,383 49,886,091 3%

DPC News:  Governor Seeks Authority to Restructure MassHealth Benefits, Again 

You may remember that early last year one of the first bills the Governor submitted to the Legislature, would have given his Administration the right to modify MassHealth benefits without legislative approval.  The Legislature rebuffed the Governor's efforts.

Well the Governor is trying again.  Outside Section 39 of House 2 contains the following language:

"Authority to Restructure MassHealth Benefits

SECTION 39. Notwithstanding section 53 of chapter 118E of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the executive office of health and human services may manage the MassHealth program within the appropriated levels in items 4000-0430, 4000-0500, 4000-0600, 4000-0700, 4000-0875, 4000-0880, 4000-0885, 4000-0940, 4000-0950, 4000-0990, 4000-1400, and 4000-1420 by restructuring benefits to the extent permitted by federal law. At least 30 days before restructuring any MassHealth benefits under this section, the secretary shall file a report with the executive office for administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means detailing the proposed changes and the anticipated fiscal impact of those changes."

Needless to say this is dangerous.  Just as one example the entire PCA program is not mandated by federal law.  I am not saying the Administration would propose eliminating this program.  I am merely pointing out that "restructuring benefit to he extent permitted by federal law" is not a very comforting provision.  Right now the Legislature provides a very important check and balance against the Executive Branch cutting benefits singlehandedly. 

You have to admire the Governor for his persistence. Unfortunately now as advocates we will have to spend valuable advocacy time battling this proposal.
Budget News: Governor Targets Families Receiving SSI and TAFDC 
 
According to news from Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, the Governor's budget would remove 6,500 families from Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children.  These families would be forced to live on the SSI of  the child or parent.  Another 1,600 families would see their benefits cut drastically.  Only two other states count the SSI as income for TAFDC.

A flyer with more information is here.
Calendar :  Mass. Commission for the Blind Listening Sessions
 
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) will be conducting a series of listening sessions across the Commonwealth between October 2015 and March 2016. These listening sessions will seek to solicit consumer, provider and community perspectives on a range of services provided by MCB, as well as allow for input and feedback on other topics of importance.

MCB is inviting consumers, families, and all key stakeholders to attend sessions nearest them. MCB Commissioner Paul Saner will be on hand to hear your insights.

For those who cannot attend in person, comments may be submitted in writing to the Office of the Commissioner, MCB, 600 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111 or email to Stephen.Berdos@state.ma.us

February and March Dates and Locations
 
Quincy
Fore River Club House
16 Nevada Road
Quincy, MA 02169
Thursday, February 11th 6:00PM-8:00PM
 
Worcester
Worcester Senior Center
128 Providence Street
Worcester MA 01604
Friday, February 19th 10:00AM-11:00AM
     
Boston
Perkins School for the Blind
Grousbeck Center
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Thursday, February 25th 6:00PM-8:00PM
*Register online by February 11th (Free)
 
Winthrop
Winthrop Senior Center
35 Harvard Street
Winthrop, MA 02152
Wednesday, March 16th 10:30AM-12:00PM
Calendar:  MBTA Hearings on Fare Increases and Commuter Rail Schedules
 
When:  January 25, 2016 to February 11, 2016 

Where:  Around Eastern Massachusetts

* Written comments about the MBTA Fare Proposal will be accepted through Friday, February 12, 2016, and can be mailed to: MBTA, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Fare Proposal Committee. You may also submit your comments on the MBTA website, mbta.com, by email at fareproposal@mbta .com, or by phone at (617) 222-3200, TTY (617) 222-5146.

* Written comments about the Commuter Rail schedule changes will be accepted through Friday, February 12, 2016, and can be mailed to: MBTA, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Commuter Rail Schedule Committee. You may also submit your comments on the MBTA website, mbta.com, by email at crschedules@mbta.com, or by phone at  (617) 222-3200, TTY (617) 222-5146.

* All locations are accessible to people with disabilities. MassDOT provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact Trish Foley at (857) 368-8907 or (trish.foley@dot.state. ma.us). Requests should be made as soon as possible prior to the meeting. For more difficult to arrange services, including sign-language, CART or language translation or interpretation, requests should be made at least ten (10) business days before the meeting.

* In case of inclement weather, meeting cancellation announcements will be posted at www.mbta.com .

Calendar: Mini-class "How to Talk to Your Legislature"

When: Saturday, February 13, 1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Whee: Cary Memorial Library (Large Meeting Room) 1874 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA  02420

ALDA Boston will offer this presentation by Ellen Perkins, Hard of Hearing Skills Training at the Center for Living and Working and Member of the Statewide Advisory Council.

Bring your favorite chocolate dish or item to share!

For questions or to  RSVP, Francine at fstiegli@bu.edu.

CART provided and a loop is available. 
Calendar: CLW's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (DHILS) Department Dialogue of VRI
 
When:Tuesday, February 16th, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Where:  Advocates, Inc., 1881 Worcester Road, (Route 9 West),  Framingham, MA 01701

Have you used interpreter services or VRI in a medical setting, ie hospital, doctors office, etc.  We want to hear about your experiences,

For more information see the  flyer here
Employment Opportunity:  MCB VR Counselor

This position covers the metro-west region.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor provides case management and job placement services to a diverse caseload of adults who are legally blind. The goal of the vocational rehabilitation program is employment and the vocational rehabilitation counselor is the frontline coordinator of all services provided to reach that goal. Services provided under the Vocational Rehabilitation program include: vocational assessment and counseling, vocational training, low vision rehabilitation and physical restoration, adaptive equipment and rehabilitation engineering, rehabilitation teaching, orientation & mobility services, job analysis and job placement. Refers consumers for rehabilitation teaching and orientation and mobility instruction. Marketing and job development is a key element of this position. Community education and in-service training for business partners as well as human service organizations is required.

Provides supportive counseling in conjunction with skill training for consumers and family members when necessary. Consults and coordinates with outside agencies including schools, health providers and work programs on behalf of clients in conjunction with skill training. Coordinates with employment services specialist(s) to provide intern placement development and placement services.

This position covers the metro-west region.

Application deadline is 2/16/16


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Disability Policy Consortium
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