PA – State Budget Aims to Enhance Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, has proposed an Executive Budget for 2017-2018 which hopes to provide $26.2 million for services for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism through a new community support waiver.
Services for this population will be provided by the newly created Department of Health and Human Services and funding will:
- Recognize the increased costs in providing services and paying direct care professionals;
- Reduce the waiting list by 1,000 individuals with ID and autism through the creation of a new community support waiver;
- Provide employment and other community services to an additional 820 special education graduates with ID and autism;
- Expand the Adult Autism Waiver to serve 50 more individuals;
- Fund community services for 80 individuals transitioning from Hamburg Center and an additional 40 individuals at other state centers;
- Add more than 2,000 individuals with autism and ID to the Targeted Services Management State Plan; and
- Establish of two bio-behavioral units to support people with complex neurodevelopmental needs.
Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs Deputy Secretary Nancy Thaler noted in a meeting, “The governor’s investment in special education graduates will provide the necessary supports to allow more than 800 young people to transition to community living and employment, providing a better chance for success in the community, instead of high-cost services down the road.”
“The Wolf Administration is committed to supporting and investing in individuals with disabilities, and the governor’s proposed budget will enable more people to live and thrive in their communities,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “This budget provides the highest levels of support to people with disabilities in years, while saving taxpayers over 2 billion dollars through cuts, savings, and efficiencies.”
Source(s): PA.gov, March 2017; PR Newswire, March 2017; Legis.state.pa.us, March 2017; Penn-Mar, March 2017;