Strong turn out in Annapolis tonight!We are strong! More than 200 advocates, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, parents, siblings, provider staff and fellow advocacy partners came down to Annapolis for another energized Action Night! We are calling on our members of the General Assembly to ”Fight for Us” in the Fight for $15 by ensuring that DD community services are protected! “Start with 5(%), Keep DD Alive!” ... See MoreSee Less
The Arc of Howard County will be holding a Hiring Event, Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm at The Arc of Howard County 11735 Homewood Road, Ellicott City MD 21042. Bring your smile and your Resume!
Action Alert: Get Ready to Rally! as we continue the "Fight for our Lives" This Monday, March 18th
The leadership of the General Assembly appears to be on the cusp of passing a minimum wage bill that will ultimately close many of the doors of service providers!
Please call AND email your Senators and Delegates (click link for full list), and everyone should ALSO contact the Speaker of the House Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller, regardless of where you live— their contact information is Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3800 | 301-858-3800 and email@example.com, 410-841-3700 | 301-858-3700 and tell them:
· We are counting on them to save our supports and services
· We need the Conference Committee to support the Senate rate increases for developmental disability services with absolutely no reductions.
Show Up and Wear Red! Please consider joining us in Annapolis Monday, March 18th at 3 p.m. to be a presence as legislators are walking between committee meetings and full chamber sessions. Putting a face on the issue is the BEST way to make an impact. We need a strong visible presence and only YOU can make that happen. ... See MoreSee Less
News and Action Alert from Arc Maryland! Action Night Announcement (Monday, March 18 3 PM) Dear Arc Family and Friends, Yesterday evening, the Senate passed the Fight for $15 bill out of the chamber with the amendments made by the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate amendments included the following percentage increases for DD Community Services for each of the years of the Minimum Wage phase-in: FY21 5% FY22 5% FY23 4.5% FY24 4% FY25 4% FY26 3% While we are VERY pleased with the actions of our Senators, we have heard some rumblings that make us very concerned about what may next happen as the bill moves back to the House. There is concern over what the implementation of this bill is going to cost. Since the general assembly needs to balance a current budget deficit and state revenue projections show levels lower than previously expected, legislators are feeling pressure to be conservative with spending. While it is true that proper DD funding in the bill will add money to the cost of implementing the Fight for $15 when it becomes law, we also know the cost to provide these increases to DD Community Services providers match actual costs providers will have to implement Fight for $15. Just as the state needs to analyze and include funding for what it is going to need to pay state workers for wages and benefits, the SAME consideration needs to be given to those entities who do the work of the state such as DD Community Services Providers. One is no less worthy of proper consideration and appropriation than the other. So what happens next? The bill will likely be referred to a Conference Committee if it has not already been referred. Conference committees are usually comprised of 3 members of the House Committee (EMC) and 3 members of the Senate Committee (FIN), but that is not a rule so the membership of the committee may be different. It is critical that rate increases adopted by the Senate prevail, and we are asking you to take action ASAP to help make that happen by calling and emailing your Delegates! In addition to your calls and emails, we also need you to come back to Annapolis for one more incredible push of advocacy on Monday, March 18th, from 3 p.m to 8 p.m. We need to be a presence as legislators are walking between committee meetings and full chamber sessions. For the registration link and locations to meet between 3-5 and 5-8 on Action Night (Monday) follow the link here: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeA7aWws8yCn1cQgZCRnfUyiPtaJZExA6GVMeJLgHijoNbKiA/viewform We hope you will make every effort to join us on Monday! Because Monday is also "Crossover" Day (the day when all bills must cross from one chamber to the next, it will be a very busy and unpredictable day, schedule-wise. Even though we do not have a predictable time to gather for briefings and meet with representatives, it is going to be important for us to have a strong visible presence. Only YOU can make that happen.
TAKE ACTION NOW: 1. Please call AND email your House Delegates (click the link to find yours) tinyurl.com/MYDELEGATES19 2. Please also contact the Speaker of the House, Mike Busch, regardless of whether he is your delegate. (firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3800 | 301-858-3800) Sample Message: "Dear _______________________ (Tell them your name and relationship (advocate, parent, provider, friend)... and I am calling you about HB166 (the Fight for $15 bill). "People with developmental disabilities are counting on you to save their services." "Please support the Senate rate increases for developmental disability services with absolutely no reductions." "These DD percentages in the bill were carefully calculated based specifically on the needs of the developmental disability community services rate system. Not all provider groups in the bill need, nor have they requested, the same rate increases." "Without critical funding through the percentages contained in the Senate bill, DD Community Services will no longer exist... but people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will still be here and in need. We CANNOT do this to our fellow Marylanders with disabilities and their families. " Why are DD services different from other Medicaid providers? · DD Community Service Providers have no other substantial source of funding for services other than the Medicaid funds (administered through DDA.) In addition DD providers are prohibited from charging fees for Medicaid-funded services. DD services do not have a “private pay” side of their services to complement the Medicaid-funded services. · 75% of the total DD Community Service Provider workforce earns less than $15 per hour. · People with developmental disabilities experience barriers to employment. As a result many are unemployed or under-employed and do not have much, if anything, in savings that would allow them enough resources to private-pay for their care. Their families have spent much of their own income caring for their son or daughter with disabilities and they too have no funds to pay for private services. · DD services are by and large provided in the community. Unlike nursing homes, medical day care, and home health, People with disabilities spend significant portions of their day out and about in the community. Working in the DD Community Services system requires a higher skill level of staff who can function with little to no direct supervision. · DD direct support staff have to be able to manage multiple responsibilities, unlike staff in other types of services where there are separate staff positions who separately provide care, clean the facility, cook and balance nutritional needs, etc. ONE DD Community Worker (DSP) may be required to demonstrate ALL of the following skills and responsibilities on a daily basis: - Manage health (appointments, labwork, etc.) and medications -Support people with complex behavioral issues that may jeopardize the person’s own safety or safety of other community members. -Provide personal care assistance. -Help people obtain and maintain employment. -Help people manage their benefits and their finances, and shop for the things they need. -Help people build friend and family relationships and deal with sexuality. -Conduct home maintenance, prepare balanced meals and perform housekeeping duties. Services for almost 25,000 Marylanders with developmental disabilities will be in jeopardy if the Senate rate increases are not adopted! Thank you for your advocacy as we continue to Fight for Our Lives! ... See MoreSee Less
Don't forget to come out this weekend and Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Lib's Grill of Maple Lawn - 8191 Maple Lawn Blvd, Fulton, MD. All weekend, March 15th - 17th, Lib's will be raising money for The Arc of Howard County. Wear your green and raise awareness and maybe a cool beverage for The Arc of HoCo! #supportthedream #libsrocks #hocomd #luckoftheirish ... See MoreSee Less