Your dedication as an advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families is phenomenal. Your calls, letters, e-mails, and trips to Olympia made a huge difference. It was truly an historic session because of you.
Advocacy makes a difference. There is a lot to celebrate as we anticipate the following positive changes in our state:
- Add to DDA services 5,000 individuals with developmental disabilities eligible and waiting for services (also in the budget)
- Refinance Medicaid Personal Care to create a new state plan – legislation allows our state to apply for the Community First Choice Option, a Federal program created with the Affordable Care Act, allowing a 56% match with savings going back into the state including for DD services
- Help families keep their part-time respite providers and gain flexibility in how respite hours are used.
- Pay raise of 30 cents per hour for supported living care providers
- Creating an audit report task force that will work on recommendations to the Legislature for enhancements to the developmental disabilities system
- Changes to help adults with developmental disabilities in dependency proceedings
- Creating a para-educator training work group
- A hard-fought amendment by parent and special education advocates to amend an education bill that would create a special education work group.
We also want to recognize the support and leadership that our lawmakers provided for people with I/DD. Senator Andy Hill (45th District) and Representative Ruth Kagi (32nd District), were instrumental on getting approval for SB 6387, and B 2746. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan and Representative Ross Hunter were also key negotiators in ensuring our legislation made it through the process. On the Senate side, in addition to Senator Hill, Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, and Senator Joe Fain were other key King County legislators who advanced and helped with the passage of legislation to help individuals with developmental disabilities. If any of these legislators represent you, we encourage you to send them a note of appreciation.
On behalf of the 27,000 individuals with I/DD in King County, thank you for making King County, and Washington State, a more inclusive place.