2022 VA General Assembly

Advocate with the ASTV throughout 2022 Virginia General Assembly Session:
The ASTV team is dedicated to sharing information with our families and educating policy makers on current priorities that impact our local Autism community. We are proud to represent a very diverse community of individuals across the entire Autism spectrum and their families, and we strive to empower individuals with Autism and their families to advocate for the best possible services and support structures for themselves and/or their loved ones.

2022 Budget Update

 

Updated 3/14/22:

As of now, the General Assembly has not completed their work. Session officially ended Saturday, March 12, however the Budget Conference Committee has not completed a Final Budget.

There is still time to have influence!

CONTACT CONFEREES:

1) Call their offices and tell them what issues you want to see funded!

2) EMAIL them telling them what is important to you. 

SUGGESTED ISSUES TO ADDRESS:

 

  • Funding Services at the 75th percentile for wage assumptions

  • Funding additional DD waiver services 

  • Fixing the Supported Living Rate to match the most equitable residential rate possible 

  • FUNDING Innovation

  • KEEP THE FUNDING FOR ALL 1,200 NEW WAIVER SLOTS (IN FY 2024)

 

Thank you for your advocacy and taking extra steps to make this happen!! 

DD System Rescue Plan

Presented by the Arc of Virginia & vaACCSES:

 

Current Status:

 

  • No Services were funded at the 75th percentile for wage assumptions.

  • Only 3 of the 9 additional Services in the DD System Rescue Plan were funded.
    – INCLUDED (at the 50th percentile): Group Homes, Group Day Support, Group Supported Employment
    – NOT INCLUDED: Community Guide, Benefits Planning, CD Services Facilitation, Workplace Assistance, Peer Mentoring & Shared Living, 

  • The Supported Living Rate was not revised to match the Group home rate of 4 people.

 

Address Priority One DD Waiver Waiting List:

The Governor’s introduced budget included 600 new slots each year of the biennium for a total of 1200 new slots.

 

  • The House included the 1200 Slots (all 1200 in year two)

  • The Senate removed 600 Slots

Investments in Innovation to Build Community Capacity, including additional funding for providers, investments in technology & workforce development.
Not included 

 

Develop Core Services for individuals on the DD Waiver waiting List:
Build a model to offer select essential services to individuals in need, providing them with support before they might require a more comprehensive waiver.

Only included in the House

Allowance for parents to continue serving as paid providers for their minor children receiving waiver services.
Included in both the Senate and the House

Combining Spending Caps for AT/EM/EHBS
Only included in the Senate

Funding for the Creation of a Screening Tool for Jail & Prisons
Not Included

 

Develop Core Services
Directs DBHDS & DMAS to study the feasibility of adding Core Services
Only included in the House

How does the budget process work?
The Budget from the General Assembly comes as amendments to the Introduced Budget by the Governor.  So first the Governor (in this case former Governor Northam) introduces a budget with their plans on how to spend Virginia’s funds. Then both Chambers, (House and Senate), propose amendments to that Budget.

Updates on Bills Related to ASTV’s Legislative Priorities:

Greater Access to Assistive Technology:

 

SB232HB990
Continuation of Technology Stakeholder Workgroup to address barriers to technology
Status: PASSED


SB231HB991 – Combining Spending CAPS
Combines annual caps for AT/EM/EHBM Services, providing greater flexibility and buying power to meet individual needs.

Status: SB231 – PASSED, HB991 – FAILED
*This split means that we now have to work to get SB231 passed in the House in order for this to become law.

 

Update Autism Definition in the Code of Virginia:
This Bill updates the definition of “Autism spectrum disorder” and the definition of “medically necessary” in the Code of Virginia to reflect changes made in public policy and terminology made in recent years, for the purpose of health insurance coverage.
Status: 
SB321 – PASSED, HB225 – In Committee

Protecting Virginians with DD in the Justice System:

SB443 PASSED in the Senate. This legislation would allow people with disabilities to petition to have their records sealed for offenses after ten years.

SB453 PASSED in the Senate.  This Bill would defelonize assault of Law Enforcement Officer by an individual diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities / Developmental Disabilities or Mental Illness.
Much work is necessary to get these Bills passed in the House.

How You Can Join Us – Tips to Successfully Advocate:

1. Visit Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) to search and track bills that are important to you. Familiarize yourself with the details and status of each, and be sure to check back in regularly to track.

 

2. Visit Who’s My Legislator and enter your address to find your Delegate and Senator.

 

3. Reach out to your Delegate and Senator via phone or email to request their support of specific bills, including WHY this issues are so important to you. Before you reach out, be sure to note if your legislator is already a Patron of the bill so you can either thank them or request their support.

 

4. Participate in ASTV’s 2022 Advocacy Program on Zoom  to hear from leaders and members of our local Autism community who will share overviews on current legislation & how you can join us throughout session and beyond!

Helpful Links:

 

Virginia House of Delegates Listing – Search for members, filter by committee, build your own list, and more

 

Senate of Virginia Member Listing – View members & contact information

 

Legislative Committees – To reach out to members of specific committees

ASTV’s Approach to Advocacy:

 

The ASTV team is dedicated to sharing information with our families and educating policymakers on current priorities that impact our local Autism community. The ASTV is proud to represent a very diverse community of individuals across the entire Autism spectrum and their families. We strive to empower individuals with Autism and their families to advocate for the best possible services and support structures for themselves and/or their loved ones.  Our team is committed to our ASTV Options Policy, and we believe that successful programs and services vary depending on individuals’ level of support needs.

 

We believe that effectively advocating at local, state, and national levels is imperative to improving services and strengthening protections. This requires unifying the voice of the Autism community and integrating legislation priorities across federal, state, and local levels in a coordinated manner.  Thank you for joining our efforts!