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 Jones2013-02-12 09:51:222013-02-12 09:51:22February 11, 2012 Legislative Update
February 11, 2013
Your Monday Morning Update:
I grew up in a valley between two mountain ranges. Each January through late-March, a thick haze settled in the valley. One might not see the blue sky for weeks at a time. The only way to see sunshine was to get in the car and head up a canyon. Within 20 minutes you could see the azure sky and smell the clean piney air.
I liken the Kansas legislative season to my misty, haze-ridden valley. I get up each morning hoping for a glimpse of sunshine, and count the days until the fog lifts.
One thing that I’ve learned is that the haze doesn’t lift each March for folks who are on the State’s intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) waiting list. The wet fog settles for years…and years…and years.
The House Social Services Budget Committee is responsible for providing the Appropriations Committee with recommendations on how to “build” the social services budget. The Social Service Budget Committee held a hearing last week allowing for public input. Three very brave families from Johnson County provided testimony about the impact of the waiting list.
Each story was different, yet the same:
- Each child is loved but needs more than what the family is able to provide.
- Other children in the family don’t get the attention that they deserve.
- The expense of necessary therapies and supports is extensive.
- Parents go to bed exhausted, just to get up and do the same thing all over again.
- Parents want their child to live a full, happy, and independent life, but need help in making that happen.
Committee members had faces like poker players. We will only know the impact when they make their budget recommendations to the Appropriations Committee.
Déjà vu! Next Wednesday, February 13th, the Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Services will be holding a similar hearing which includes the waiting list. The meeting starts at 3:30 p.m. and is in room 548-S in the Capitol. We are looking for folks to testify. Please contact me if you are interested in providing testimony.
Okay now, hold onto your rain hats. Here’s my request list:
- If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to spend a few hours at the Capitol,have I got an opportunity for you! On Thursday, March 14th, InterHab (astatewide association of I/DD service providers) is holding an event called “Day at the Capitol.” I’m looking for a few good folks who will go to Topeka with me and talk to legislators about their experience with KanCare. My dream is one constituent for each of our 25 Representatives and eight Senators. Please consider joining me.
- Speaking of KanCare, how is it working for you? I’d love to hear your experiences (both good and not so good).
- We need to diligently work to keep I/DD long-term care services, OUT of KanCare. Please go to www.invisiblekansans.com and send off your weekly note to your legislators. The new message asks legislators to support a carve-out of I/DD services from KanCare.
If you are a recipient of KanCare, State officials have scheduled meetings to answer questions. Meetings are 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- February 19th – Kansas City: Hilton Garden Inn, Wyandotte 2, 520 Minnesota Ave.
- February 20th – Olathe: Holiday Inn, Ballroom A/B, 101 W. 151st St.
Warm (and hopefully not foggy) regards,
JCDS Community Relations Manager