This message is from Ellen Pinnes and The Disability Coalition.
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There are 6,500 people on the waiting list for the Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DDW) and wait times have grown to 12 years or more. With state revenues this year the highest they’ve ever been, it’s time for New Mexico to move people onto the waiver and cut those ridiculously long waits.
In a report issued last summer, the Legislative Finance Committee called for a five-year plan to reduce the DDW waiting list. HB 68, sponsored by Rep. Liz Thomson, responds to that recommendation and directs the Department of Health to move at least 600 people off the waiting list and into waiver services each year for five years. A total of 3,000 people would be added to the waiver over those five years. The bill includes a $25 million appropriation to implement this multi-year plan. The money would be matched with federal Medicaid dollars, for a total of more than $90 million available to add individuals to the waiver (both the traditional DD waiver and Mi Via). This money would become part of the “base budget” for the department, which means this higher level of funding would be kept up in future years.
HB 68 passed its first committee, House Health & Human Services, unanimously. But the HB 68 plan won’t be adopted unless the funding is added to the state budget bill, HB 2. The House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) is working now to put that budget bill together. We urge you to contact members of HAFC with a simple message: ask them to include $25 million in HB 2 to the Department of Health for the HB 68 five-year plan to reduce the DD waiver waiting list.
The most important people to contact are the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee, and the members of the subcommittee that will recommend funding levels for the Department of Health:
Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, HAFC Chair, 986-4316, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bobby Gonzales, HAFC Vice Chair, 986-4319, email@example.com
Rep. Rudy Martinez, Sub-Committee Chair, 986-4233, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Nathan Small, Sub-Committee Vice Chair, 986-4438, email@example.com
Rep. Anthony Allison, 986-4254, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Cathrynn Brown, 986-4242, email@example.com
Rep. Randal Crowder, 986-4250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jack Chatfield, 986-4467, email@example.com
Rep. Melanie Stansbury, 986-4336, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Candie Sweetser, 986-4255, email@example.com
Rep. Christine Trujillo, 986-4249, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other members of the HAFC, who will also vote on the budget bill:
Rep. Phelps Anderson, 986-4450, email@example.com
Rep. Gail Armstrong, 986-4242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Paul Bandy, 986-4250, email@example.com
Rep. Harry Garcia, 986-4233, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Javier Martinez, 986-4236, email@example.com
Rep. Tomás Salazar,986-4236, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Joseph Sanchez, 986-4226, email@example.com
Thanks for making the voice of the disability community heard!
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The Disability Coalition is administered by Disability Rights New Mexico and is funded in part by
the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council through Federal Program funding.
Additional funding is provided by The Arc of New Mexico,
the Independent Living Resource Center, New Vistas and DRNM.
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