New budget released by Governor Baker continued from p. 1
the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget significantly with pressure to reduce spending. One bright star in this situation is the Governor and Legislature’s initiative to fix the Turning 22 funding formula for graduates of special education. The last time this was addressed was in the 1990s. Over the last several years, Massachusetts moved up in fiscal effort compared to other states. But as the numbers of the DDS caseload grow (now 38,000),
there are other costs that are unavoidable. In day- and employment- services, the state moved away from sheltered work due to the isolation and low staff support. But $20 Million in funding is still outstanding for that transition to assist over 3,000 adults. On the family support side, more dollars can reduce residential service demand, but in the meantime maintaining a stable residential budget is a must to address the 11,000 being supported.
We can slow the growth of the DDS budget by providing more shared living, combining DDS services with MassHealth supports, and increasing Family Support. But this takes three years to see results and in the meantime, new dollars maintain current supports while addressing the adult needs of those graduating from schools. Please see our full coverage on our website, TheArcofMass.org. Click on Advocacy and you’ll see State Budget in the dropdown.
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The Attainable Savings Plan is offered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority and managed by Fidelity Investments. Qualified ABLE Programs offered by other states may provide state tax benefits to their residents or taxpayers that are not available through the Attainable Savings Plan. If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, you should consider whether your home state offers its residents or taxpayers state tax advantages or benefits for investing in your home state’s qualified ABLE program before making an investment in the Attainable Savings Plan. Units of the portfolios are municipal fund securities and are subject to market fluctuation and volatility. You may have a gain or loss when you sell your units. Please carefully consider the Attainable Savings Plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information, contact Fidelity for a free Disclosure Document or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 810366.1.0
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The Arc of Massachusetts