http://www.helpersinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/helpersinclogo-340x100.png 0 0 Stacy Jones http://www.helpersinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/helpersinclogo-340x100.png Stacy Jones2011-01-25 13:02:052011-02-07 11:36:28Your Legislative Update from Johnson County Developmental Supports
Another full week of the 2012 Legislative session and our legislators are doing just what we elected them to do…
Formulate – Allocate – Regulate – Legislate
You may have read that the Governor released his budget. As promised, he did not cut funding from the Medicaid DD system, in fact you may have heard that he added in $11 million. This is true, but don’t get excited, it just replaces what was lost from the Federal stimulus dollars. Governor Brownback did remove $3.5 million in SGF (state general funds) which did not have federal match. Those dollars were used in differently by each CDDO. The majority of CDDO’s used these dollars to serve individuals who don’t quite qualify for services but needed minor levels of support to keep them safe and independent. Those were dollars well spent.
One positive step for the DD community is that the House created a new standing committee called the “Children and Families Committee”. Standing committees are important because they meet regularly and can introduce bills. In the past there was a similar joint interim committee (made up of Senators and Representatives during the “off season” ) but the committee could only make recommendations.
· Representative Mike Kiegerl from Gardner/Olathe was named as chair of this new committee. He has promised that he will make it the priority of this committee to address the waiting list.
· True to his promise, he heard testimony last week about the DD waiting list. He’s promised more time in the future for parents to provide testimony.
· The committee is made up of a couple of “seasoned” and three freshmen legislators. Two of the Freshmen are from Johnson County (Reps. Meigs and Rubin). If you are their constituents, please contact them and let them know you’ll be watching closely and that you care about funding the waiting list.
· The Governor has told Legislators not to introduce bills that aren’t revenue neutral unless they also introduce how they are going to pay for it.
· Representative Kiegerl has promised to introduce a bill which will eliminate the waiting list. This will be the true challenge for this committee as they will either need to find a pot of money at the end of the rainbow or find some efficiencies within the current budget to switch over for this purpose.
But as they say “necessity is the mother of invention” and “where there is a will, there is a way”. We shall see….
Your To Do List:
· Visit www.invisiblekansans.com and click on the “Support Kansas DD Funding” link. Put in your zip code, and your info is pulled up. Customize the message or send off the automated email to your legislators. This tool lets them know that you exist, you care and most importantly, you’ll be watching! Handwritten letters and phone calls are always welcome!
· Go to www.kslegislature.org and you’ll find the new and improved Kansas Legislative website. Take a few minutes to tour. Get familiar with it as you may need it in the future to look at bills, committee agendas receive status updates.
Now on this 3rd week of the 2012 Legislative session, let’s do what we need to do…
Initiate – Educate- Advocate-Communicate
JCDS Community Relations Manager
JCDS Community Relations Manager