by Rachelle Hadland, AAPPD Staff | March 4, 2020
Show Your Support - SB 1552
Long-Term Funding for the Developmentally Disabled - Fund the State's Rate Rebase Study
The State’s Rate Rebase study shows that the system of services for individuals with I/DD is $100 million to $150 million underfunded. Please support SB 1552 to provide $50 million in FY 2021 to begin to bring up reimbursement rates to recommended levels.
Although the Legislature and the Executive have provided funding that works to address the state’s minimum wage increases, funding levels for services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are far below the recommended levels set in the state’s Rate Rebase study. Prior to the Great Recession, reimbursement rates for services to individuals with I/DD were between 90% to 100% of the recommended levels. Today reimbursement rates are as low as 44.69% of recommended levels, with services being, on average, 76.15% of recommended levels, known as the benchmark.
Click here to read SB 1552.
Click here to view a fact sheet on SB 1552.
HOW CAN YOU HELP SUPPORT Long Term Funding for I/DD Services - SB 1552?
SB 1552 was heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, February 25th, and passed out of the committee with a 7-2 vote.
An amendment was adopted to reduce the appropriation to $15 million, from $50 million. Which is the amount of funding already included in the Senate Republican budget framework.
Speakers at the hearing focused on the underfunding of the system as reported in the Rate Rebase, the need for proper funding of the system, and what individuals and families are experiencing because of the underfunding.
If you did not get a chance to catch the hearing, you can watch it here: http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=23972&autostart=0
We need you to keep SB 1552 going by emailing Senate Members and expressing your support for fully funding I/DD services. You can find contact information for all Senators online at https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=S
Here is an example email of support:
Dear Senator XXXXX,
I am writing to ask for your support for SB 1552. Please support full funding for services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as recommended in the state’s Rate Rebase study.
State statute requires DES to do this study every five years. The latest study shows the system needs an additional $150 million to be at recommended funding levels. This is 300% worse than the 2014 study, which stated the system needed approximately $50 million.
We need a multi-year plan to get services to individuals with I/DD up to or near recommended funding levels.
Providers of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are simultaneously experiencing both a shortage of willing employees and increased overtime expenses for existing employees in order to maintain government established staffing levels established for the safety of those being served, both of which have been exacerbated by increases to the state minimum wage
The pool of potential individuals that are both eligible and interested in direct service staff jobs is limited. These potential employees have other employment options that offer more benefits and that are less demanding physically and emotionally — and are offered for equal or higher pay.
This funding is needed to make sure we have an adequate network of services to take care of some of our most vulnerable citizens. I am concerned about this issue and encourage you to support this request.
Sign up for AAPPD's email list on our homepage to get future calls to action on SB 1552 and funding for I/DD services, and visit our Action Center regularly for current ways to support our efforts. The Action Center is a fast way to send emails, make phone calls, and share to social media.
If you are a family or self-advocate who would like to get involved with our advocacy efforts, please reach out directly to our staff at email@example.com or 602-510-9373. We are happy to help you share your story!