Register for The Arc of Virginia's 
Next Mobilizing Planning Meeting Hosted by the 
A Life Like Yours Self-Advocacy Alliance 


Thursday December 10th at 6:30pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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ACTION ALERT  

Please Act Now through November 19, 2020

 Contact Governor Northam and his Administration

Call To Action for DD Advocates!

Why You Need To Act? 
During a Special Session, the General Assembly approved a Budget that provides COVID Relief Funding for the DD System, BUT the Governor MUST Sign it as written in order for funding to go through as intended.  SECOND, the General Assembly left out Relief for Residential Services, and now we are asking the Governor to provide that funding with remaining CARES Act funds.

What You Need To DO? 

EMAIL the Governor's offices asking him to do 2 things:  

Sample Email Message:

Subject Line:  Support & Expand on GA COVID Relief Funding - Item 479.10

Body of Email:
Following the approval of COVID Relief funding from the General Assembly, we ask that you act in two ways to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are protected: 

1) Support and sign the budget as it was returned to you by the General Assembly. 
Advocates carefully worked with legislators during Special Session to craft COVID Relief Fund Allocation language that would help support the preservation of community-based DD providers.  The language in Item 479.10 supports an efficient and timely payment distribution methodology to meet the December 30th deadline.  It is important that this allocation language be maintained.

2) Using the remaining CARES Act funds, Allocate Funds for Residential Services at $20 per day, per person.  

Thank you for your serious consideration of this request.


EMAIL CONTACTS:
You may also call the Governor’s Office with the same message as above: (804) 786-2211


Governor's Team:

Chief of Staff - Clark Mercer

c[email protected]

Deputy Secretary of Finance - Joe Flores j[email protected]

Legislative Director - Missy Neff
m[email protected] 

Policy Director - Courtney Dozier 

c[email protected]

Director, Constituent Services - JD Ratliff
jd[email protected]

Secretary of Health & Human Resources - Dr. Daniel Carey

[email protected]

Deputy Secretary of Health & Human Resources - Marvin Figueroa
[email protected]

________________________________________________________________

Background of how we got here and why this is so important. 

COVID turned all of our worlds upside down.  Virginia is no different. 

In early 2020, Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly allocated desperately needed funding for the Developmental Disability System.  The funding included DD Waiver Slots and multiple investments in Rate Increases for services.  Both of these moves were necessary to shore up a system in crisis with low rates, critical staffing shortages and over 3,000 people on a priority one waiting list to address critical needs. 

In March 2020, COVID hit every part of our society, devastating the already struggling and under funded system that supports people with Developmental Disabilities to live their lives in their own communities.  As the Administration worked to provide relief to the economy, previously funded investments in rate increases were withdrawn, just as providers were either forced to shut down, or continue to serve with soaring costs in order to keep people safe.  

In August 2020, the Governor convened a Special Session of the General Assembly to consider two major tasks:
 
1) Distribute 1.1 Billion dollars of CARES Act funding to save industries devastated by COVID. 

2) Develop a State Budget based on the current economy.  


In November 2020, the General Assembly approved Coronavirus Relief Funding and a State Budget, that funded relief for some services but LEFT OUT SOME CRITICAL SUPPORTS for people with disabilities. Additionally, the Governor has not signed the Budget, creating concern over what may happen next.  Response to the Action Alert above will help ensure that the Governor signs what is already approved and adds funding for critical services.    

 

ACTION ALERT  Now through October 30, 2020

                     Contact Governor Northam and his Administration

KEEP The Pressure ON!

While we were successful in advocating for many of our funding priorities for the Special Session included in the budget conference report, some critical Developmental Disability Waiver services that ensure people with disabilities can live in their communities, did not receive any funding from the Coronavirus Relief Funding that Virginia has to spend.  

We NEED YOU to ADVOCATE 
for these services to receive Coronavirus Relief Funding:

~ In-Home Support
~ Supported Employment
~ Residential Services (Supported Living, Sponsored Residential, Group Home) 

As we have been telling the Governor and the General Assembly for months: the dollars represented by these priorities are a direct investment in public health and safety for our communities -- both during COVID-19, and in the rebuilding that follows. There is money left from the Relief Fund available: the Governor can and SHOULD put part of it towards further supporting our DD Waiver system during this pandemic!


We need all advocates, families, neighbors, and friends to keep calling and emailing the Governor and his team with the following message:
“ The monies approved by the General Assembly, do not include critical support services that are desperately needed, in order to provide relief to the DD System. As a Virginian, I urge you to use part of the remaining Relief Fund dollars for:

(1) Retainer Payments for In-Home and Supported Employment
(2) Preservation Payments for Residential Services - $20 per person, per day."  

  

CALL AND EMAIL CONTACTS:
Governor’s Office - (804) 786-2211

Governor's Team:

Chief of Staff - Clark Mercer
c[email protected]

Deputy Secretary of Finance - Joe Flores
 
j[email protected]

Legislative Director - Missy Neff
m[email protected] 

Policy Director - Courtney Dozier 

c[email protected]

Director, Constituent Services - JD Ratliff
jd[email protected]

Secretary of Health & Human Resources - Dr. Daniel Carey
[email protected]


Deputy Secretary of Health & Human Resources - Marvin Figueroa 
[email protected]

__________________________________________________________________

Background of how we got here and why this is so important. 

COVID turned all of our worlds upside down.  Virginia is no different. 

In early 2020, Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly allocated desperately needed funding for the Developmental Disability System.  The funding included DD Waiver Slots and multiple investments in Rate Increases for services.  Both of these moves were necessary to shore up a system in crisis with low rates, critical staffing shortages and over 3,000 people on a priority one waiting list to address critical needs. 

In March 2020, COVID hit every part of our society, devastating the already struggling and under funded system that supports people with Developmental Disabilities to live their lives in their own communities.  As the Administration worked to provide relief to the economy, previously funded investments in rate increases were withdrawn, just as providers were either forced to shut down, or continue to serve with soaring costs in order to keep people safe.  

In August 2020, the Governor convened a Special Session of the General Assembly to consider two major tasks:
 
1) Distribute 1.1 Billion dollars of CARES Act funding to save industries devastated by COVID. 

2) Develop a State Budget based on the current economy.  


Currently, the General Assembly has approved Coronavirus Relief Funding and a State Budget, that LEFT OUT TWO CRITICAL SUPPORTS for people with disabilities.  These items are listed above in the current Action Alert.  Without intervention, countless providers will close permanently, leaving people without the support they need.  

MAKE A DIFFERENCE      MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!       THANK YOU!

 

URGENT ACTION ALERT - Now through Tuesday October 20, 2020

Call Governor Northam TODAY and tell him that 

                       Developmental Disabilities NEEDS 2% TO PRESERVE!                          Governor Northam’s Office - (804) 786-2211

While we were able to successfully advocate to  have many of our funding priorities for the Special Session included in the budget conference report, two critical supports -- Retainer Payments for In-Home and Supported Employment, and Preservation Payments for Residential Services -- did not receive any funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund amount that Virginia has to spend.  

As we have been telling the Governor and the General Assembly for months: the dollars represented by these priorities are a direct investment in public health and safety for our communities -- both during COVID-19, and in the rebuilding that follows. There is money left from the Relief Fund available: the Governor can and SHOULD put part of it towards further supporting our DD Waiver system during this pandemic!

        We need all advocates, families, neighbors, and friends to start calling the Governor’s office TODAY -- AND                                                 CONTINUING INTO MONDAY & TUESDAY -- with the following message:

"The monies included in the conference report do not include two critical supports that are desperately needed, in order to provide relief to the DD System. As a Virginian, I urge you to use part of the remaining Relief Fund dollars for (1) Retainer Payments for In-Home AND Supported Employment and (2) Preservation Payments for Residential Services - $20 per person, per day.  This is needed IN ADDITION to all of the funding for the DD System that IS included in the conference report.  We need to keep individuals with waivers, our families, our providers, and our caregivers safe and healthy during this pandemic -- WE NEED 2% TO PRESERVE! ”

LET’S KEEP THE PHONE RINGING IN SUPPORT OF DD!

                         Governor Northam’s Office - (804) 786-2211
                                          

  

Special Session:  Convened August 18, 2020

Current Status: In Session

 Summary of Where Things Stand:

On September 25th, the House and Senate presented their Budget for State and CARES Act funding. They both woefully underfunded the DD System.

Advocacy Response: 

Mobilizing Advocates to:

1) Call & Email Legislators and Governor

2) Attend a Virtual Rally - Completed  

          TAKE ACTION NOW          

CONTACT LEGISLATORS AND GOVERNOR:  

Messaging:  

COVID-19 has created stress on an already stressed system that provides support to people with developmental disabilities.  To help industries devastated by COVID-19, the Federal Government has given States money from the CARES Act to provide relief to those industries.  The DD System is one of those systems here in Virginia, and desperately needs relief. 

Virginia received 3.1 BILLION from the CARES Act to support the needs of Virginians suffering impacts caused by the pandemic. But, the proposed Budget for Virginia, only gives the DD Waiver System 1% of that funding.  That is not enough.

 We are asking for the following Funding:   

  • Provide Relief Payments for Essential DD Waiver Services (COVID Relief Funds)

    • Add In-Home and Group Supported Employment to Item 479.10 #1s (While Maintaining Group Day, Community Engagement and Community Coaching)

    • Add Preservation Payments for Residential Services:  $20 per day/per person for:  Supported Living, Sponsored Residential and Group Home.  

  • Allow Telehealth and Virtual Learning for Certain DD Waiver Services (language only) – Item 313 #15s

  • Fully Restore Medicaid Funds for DD Waiver Provider Rates as a General Fund Allocation, without Contingency in FY 2022 (In Home, Supported Living, Sponsored Residential, Group Home, Community Engagement, Community Coaching, Workplace Assistance, Group Supported Employment, Group Day Support, Therapeutic Consultation, Peer Mentoring, Community Guide) – Item 479.30 #1h; 482.20 #18s; 479.20 #1s

  • Restore Funding to Finalize Rate Study for Private Day Schools in FY 2021 – Item 482.20 #14s

  • Require Medical Facilities to Allow Designated Persons to Accompany or Visit Disabled Patients (language only) – Item 300 #1h

WHO TO CONTACT:

Contact Governor's Office       (804) 786-2211             [email protected]

Contact ALL Legislators Listed Below:

Delegate Luke Torian              (804) 698-1052             [email protected]

Delegate Mark Sickles            (804) 698-1043             [email protected]

Delegate Betsy Carr               (804) 698-1069             [email protected]

Delegate David Bulova           (804) 698-1037             [email protected] 

Delegate Roslyn Tyler            (804) 698-1075             [email protected]

Delegate Barry Knight             (804) 698-1081             [email protected]

Senator Thomas Norment       (804) 698-7503            [email protected]  

Senator Janet Howell              (804) 698-7532             [email protected]                                  

Senator Richard Saslaw          (804) 698-7535            [email protected]

Senator Emmett Hanger         (804) 698-7524             [email protected]

Senator Louise Lucas             (804) 698-7518             [email protected]

Senator George Barker           (804) 698-7539             [email protected]

Senator Mamie Locke             (804) 698-7502             [email protected]

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 VIRTUAL RALLY HELD:  Thursday October 8th, 6:45 PM - 7:15 PM 

Click for Event Summary