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 Jones2013-02-18 15:43:362013-02-18 15:43:36February 18, 2013 Legislative Update
February 18, 2013Your Monday Morning Update:Think back to your playground days and that old teeter-totter. Were you the kid who enjoyed demonstrating your prowess by keeping your playmate up in the air on the other end of that splintery board or did you just take turns going up and down? My older brother never teeter-tottered fairly…Right now, the Kansas Legislature is almost at mid-point on their teeter-totter. Their work is nearly half done. Senate and House committees have been busy introducing bills, listening to testimony, and working the bills. From this point on, their decisions can hold us hostage, or can demonstrate a little give and take.
- The Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Services held a hearing on the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) budget. This Senate committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Legislature on what and how to fund social services. Four families from Johnson County presented written testimony on the waiting list. Unfortunately, it appears that the Committee is sticking with the Governor’s budget and will recommend no increase for the intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) waiting list or rates.
- The House Appropriations Committee made a motion that would task Secretary Sullivan from KDADS to identify individuals from KNI (a State I/DD hospital in Topeka) that could be served in the community. One legislator inquired about “privatizing” KNI after those that could move, did so. The community I/DD system would possibly support that idea if all the money saved goes to the community I/DD system to build capacity and reduce the waiting list. This idea has been tossed about for years so I’d be surprised it if goes anywhere.
- Kansas has adopted a “pay/go” system where if new money is added for one thing, money must be taken away from something else. If an increase for the waiting list/rates isn’t included in an Appropriations Bill, money will need to be found to pay for it.
- And because of that, the Chair of the Social Services Budget Committee is toying with the idea of taking I/DD State Aid dollars and putting those towards the waiting list. State Aid is a flexible funding pool used in different ways to augment services where needed. Some areas use it to pay for services that can’t be paid for with waiver funds, enhances staffing concerns, and it is used to cover some ancillary local service needs. We do not support eliminating State Aid.
- The I/DD HCBS waiver will be included into KanCare next January unless we can get a “carve out.” HB 2029 does just that and was introduced to the House Health and Human Services Committee. There isn’t a date set for a hearing. Thoughts are that it may not get one.
- The Governor’s Budget Director attached a fiscal note to the HB 2029 showing an exorbitant cost to the State if the I/DD HCBS waiver isn’t included in KanCare (upwards of $22 million all funds this first year). We aren’t sure whether the Budget Director doesn’t understand the bill or whether the bill isn’t written correctly. Apples to oranges…
- The I/DD Pilot Program, a demonstration program for testing and evaluating the delivery of services for folks in HCBS waiver services, is seeking applicants. The State is looking for providers and persons-served who want to participate. If you are interested in being a participant, go to www.kdads.ks.gov/CSP/DD_
Pilot_Info.htmlfor the application.
- If you are a recipient of KanCare, State officials have scheduled meetings to answer your questions. Meetings are from 1 – 3 p.m. and 6 – 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.Question of the session:Will I/DD issues, the budget and the KanCare carve-out, be held powerless and “up in the air” or will there be a little give and take?Your “weight”, assistance, and advocacy are necessary to keep that teeter-totter balanced. It’s important to develop a relationship with your legislators by contacting them regularly.Warm regards,Lurena MeadJCDS Community Relations Manager