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Summer 2013 - Volume LII, No. 3 Quarterly Publication

Pennsylvania Message Final Budget Includes Waiting List Increase On June 30, the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, the $28.375 billion Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget a few hours before the constitutionally-mandated deadline. Overall spending in the new budget is increased by $645 million (2.3 percent) over the previous year, which is $64 million less than the Governor’s budget request in February. On disability issues, the final budget largely reflects the Governor’s February proposal. Of concern to the disability community, legislative language requiring expansion of Medicaid and changing the name of the Department of Public Welfare passed the Senate but were removed by the House. These issues will need to be addressed again when legislators return to Harrisburg in September. Community Waiver Program - $19,867,000 was provided for home and community-based services for 380 people on the Wailing List, 700 graduating students from special education programs, and moving 100 people out of state centers. An additional $1,497,000 was included “to provide home and community-based services for 118 additional Individuals with autism spectrum disorders”. Human Services Block Grant – The block grant pilot program approved last year will be expanded from 20 to 30 counties. Those selected will be able to combine funding and redistribute it as they feel is needed for six programs: community mental health services, behavioral health services, intellectual disability community base services, county child welfare special grants, homeless assistance programs and drug and alcohol services. The Governor proposed this pilot be expanded to all counties that want to participate. The Arc is concerned about expansion of the Block Grant prior to an evaluation of its impacts in the first year of implementation. The Arc has a long history of advocating for the funding currently found in the Intellectual Disabilities appropriation and is concerned about any process that takes this funding away from persons with intellectual disabilities particularly with over 4,000 individuals waiting for emergency services. Budget - continued Page 5

PA Message Summer 2013  

The Arc of Pennsylvnania's Quarterly newsletter. The Arc serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families....

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