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The 2013 Oregon Legislative Session At-a-Glance
The Oregon DD Coalition and its GO! Project (Grassroots Oregon) coordinate statewide advocacy efforts to inform legislators of issues impacting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Advocates from the I/DD community worked together to inform legislators that the DD system was at the breaking point with insufficient resources to effectively protect the health and safety of Oregonians with I/DD. The state DD system experienced a change in leadership, followed by series of system changes resulting from the utilization of federal K Plan funding and Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 focused on employment.
END OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION REPORT:
The 2013 session is considered a successful one for the developmental disabilities community. In the 2013 session, the Department of Human Services budget generally fared better than in the last biennium, thanks in large part to the “K Plan.” The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Oregon’s Community First Choice Option Plan (the “K Plan”) effective July 1, 2013 which allow the state to provide extensive home and community based services to individuals with developmental disabilities while at the same time leveraging additional federal dollars for these services. The Developmental Disabilities Budget increased 1.8% General Fund (GF) and 15.8% Total Fund (TF) from the 2011-13 Legislatively Approved Budget. The following investments are included in the Developmental Disabilities budget for 2013-15:
- $1.2 million in GF to support four additional Family Networks, which will allow expansion of these services to more families across the state.
- Family Support will remain at 2011-13 levels of support ($2M GF).
- Long-term In-Home Support Services for Children limits of 250 families and cap of $1000 per month continue, but upon implementation of the K Plan, children eligible for these services will receive Medicaid services, per the K Plan, which remove the caps and limits. Hours of service will be determined by the Functional Needs Assessment Tool.
- The budget includes $29.5M GF for Maintenance of Effort under the K Plan, which will be used to restore most Comprehensive Service Rates to pre 2011-13 levels in the following areas: 24 Hour Residential Services, In-Home Support Services, Non-Medical Transportation Services, and Adult and Child Foster Care Services.
- In the area of Adult Support Services, the budget includes $4.8M GF ($13M TF) to cover roll-up costs associated with a 1.25% wage increase for Personal Support Workers, effective April 1, 2013. It also includes $7.2M GF ($19.9M TF) as a placeholder for costs that will remain indeterminate until the conclusion of collective bargaining.
- $2.4M GF ($4.8M TF) and two positions to implement an electronic web-based central client record and case management system.
- $8.6M GF ($22.2M TF) and 10 positions for the Employment First Initiative (in response to Governor’s Executive Order #13-04), which will increase integrated employment options and outcomes for transition age youth and for working-age adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Increased equity in County and Brokerage Administrative Costs to 94% of what it would cost the state to provide these services.
- Increased equity for County and Brokerage Case Managers to 94% of what it would cost the state to provide these services.
- $1.7M GF ($3.4M TF) and 30 positions to restore some of the Quality Assurance positions that were eliminated in 2011, although these positions will be mainly dedicated to monitoring and oversight of inclusive employment efforts related to the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 titled “Providing Employment Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”.
- Increased equity to 94% of what it would cost the state to provide these services for County and Brokerages for working with clients in crisis.
- Although the Governor’s budget had included restoration of the Fairview Trust to the level it was prior to the 2011-13 legislative session (would have been an additional $6.9M in General Fund), restoration of those funds was not included in the budget that was ultimately passed. Therefore, the Fairview Housing Trust Fund is maintained at $6M for the 2013-15 biennium.
Below are highlights of specific legislation of particular interest to the Developmental Disabilities community. To read the full text of any of these bills, visit the Oregon State Legislature web site at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/bills_laws/
SB 22B: An important bill that the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities was involved in developing that makes technical revisions to the developmental disability statutes, recognizes the importance of supporting families, adds a “rights” section for persons receiving developmental disability services, also adds a “values” statement focused on personal choice and community participation. Enacted; Effective April 11, 2013.
SB 559A: Requires the Department of Human Services to provide adults with developmental disabilities needing comprehensive services at least three options for placement; also requires that all adults with developmental disabilities receiving comprehensive services have an equal opportunity for job placements. Enacted; Effective July 1, 2013
SB 626B: Expands the duties of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to include oversight of residents of care facilities who have mental illness or developmental disabilities. Enacted; Effective January 1, 2014
SB 640A: Requires Department of Human Services to assess the support needs of adults with developmental disabilities receiving comprehensive services and pay rates sufficient to meet the assessed support needs. Enacted; Effective July 1, 2013
SB 365B: Requires health benefit plan policies offered by Public Employees Benefit Board and Oregon Educators Benefit Board to provide coverage of applied behavior analysis for treatment of autism beginning on or after January 1, 2015, and requires coverage of applied behavior analysis for policies offered by other health benefit plans on or after January 1, 2016. This creates Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board to license providers of applied behavior analysis. Passed both chambers; Governor signed.
HB 2013B: Known as the “kindergarten readiness bill,” this bill does a number of things to help implement the kindergarten readiness assessment that school districts must start using this fall, most notably to establish the “Early Learning Hub” demonstration projects to coordinate early learning services throughout the state. It also requires standardized screening and referral services for the voluntary statewide early learning system and requires that preschool children with disabilities have a comprehensive communication plan by the age of three. Passed both chambers; Governor signed.
HB 2193: Removes requirements related to alternate assessments for extended diplomas. Enacted; Effective July 1, 2013
HB 2585B: Directs rulemaking regarding a process to submit complaints about incidents involving use of physical restraint or seclusion in public education programs and a process to investigate those complaints. It also directs rulemaking regarding minimum standards for rooms that are used for seclusion. Enacted; Effective July 25, 2013
HB 2756A: Prohibits a public education program from purchasing, building or otherwise taking possession of a seclusion cell or using a seclusion cell; requires removal of existing seclusion cells from classrooms no later than July 1, 2013. Enacted; Effective April 5, 2013.
HB 2898A: Allows a student with a disability to earn credit at a community college or public university as part of their transition services; also provides that a student who receives a modified diploma or extended diploma may not be denied eligibility or financial aid for the sole reason that the student did not receive a high school diploma. Passed both chambers; Governor signed.
Thank you to those of you who put time and effort into advocating for and supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Your presence was seen and heard, and your voices definitely made a difference! To those of you who participated in our Adopt-a-Legislator Program or who made personal connections with your legislators this session, if you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to send a note to legislators to let them know their efforts this session to support and protect the well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities was very much appreciated!
2013 GO! PROJECT ADVOCACY HIGHLIGHTS:
Visit the GO! Project section for additional advocacy information
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