Call Your Legislative Representatives!

Ask them to Keep the DD Promise and Restore the 3.5%
for Developmental Disabilities Community Services.

The BRFA is the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act and it is the mechanism through which budget adjustments are made. The 3.5% increase in DDA funding that was mandated through the Minimum Wage Act of 2014 can be procedurally adjusted through the BRFA. That is what happened this year; the 3.5% that was promised to be included in the FY19 budget was reduced to 1% through the BRFA.

This action amounts to a “cut” to DD providers as the increase does not keep pace with the rising costs of personnel and other expenses. The lack of sufficient funding directly affects Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and the people who rely on their care and support.

DSPs are the backbone of our system of services in Maryland; they provide essential supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; most of whom are already feeling the staffing crisis after years of living and working in a chronically underfunded system.

Attached is a fact sheet from Maryland Association of Community Services which details the proposed budget and the amount of funding we need to have restored.

Please contact your representatives in the Appropriations and Budget and Taxation committees and ask them to “Keep the DD Promise” of a 3.5% increase to DDA community services funding.

Talking Points:

  • I am a (person with a disability, parent, member of The Arc Maryland).
  • The 1% increase for DDA Community Services is roughly $15 million dollars short of the mandated funding increase needed.  The funding must be restored.
  • Without a full restoration of the 3.5% increase, the Direct Support Professional (DSP) wage component of the DD rate will be insufficient to recruit and retain qualified staff.
  • DSPs provide critical support for many families and individuals with disabilities and assist individuals with disabilities to successfully live and work in the community.
  • DSPs provide professional-level care; these are not minimum wage jobs and should not be funded that way.
  • Please restore the promised 3.5% rate increase, and amend the BRFA to include this mandated funding.  This action will be critical to the stability of the Developmental Disabilities service system in Maryland.

The DDA Budget Hearings this week.

February 28
House Subcommittee on Health and Social Services
Room 150, House Office Building – 1 pm

  • MDH Developmental Disabilities Administration

March 2
Senate Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
3 West, Miller Senate Office Building – 1 pm

  • MDH Developmental Disabilities Administration

The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) hearings this week.

February 28
Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
3 West, Miller Senate Office Building – 1 pm

March 2
House Appropriations Committee
Room 121, House Office Building – 1 pm