What you can do to help: Email all Senate Appropriations Committee Members using the emails listed below and request their support for our appropriation requests listed below to be included in the budget.
Senator Ryan Mishler - Senator.Mishler@iga.in.gov
Senator Eric Bassler - Senator.Bassler@iga.in.gov
Senator Phil Boots - Senator.Boots@iga.in.gov
Senator Jean Breaux - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Liz Brown - Senator.Brown@iga.in.gov
Senator Ed Charbonneau - email@example.com
Senator Michael Crider - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jon Ford - Senator.Ford@iga.in.gov
Senator Randy Head - Senator.Head@iga.in.gov
Senator Travis Holdman - Senator.Holdman@iga.in.gov
Senator Eddie Melton - email@example.com
Senator David Niezgodski - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Karen Tallian - email@example.com
Please copy Katy Stafford-Cunningham (firstname.lastname@example.org) on any emails you send and forward responses you receive to her so that she can follow up with legislators as needed.
What to include in your message:
There is a higher likelihood that committee members will consider your communications and our included funding request if each message they receive is unique and personalized with information about why these issues and appropriations requests are important and how they impact Hoosiers with disabilities. As such, we will not provide a template message, but simply request that you address the topics below and emphasize why these issues are important to you as a Hoosier who cares about individuals with disabilities:
- Introduce yourself and your connection to Hoosiers with disabilities (for example, you are a Self-Advocate, family member, friend, DSP/staff for a provider organization, etc.)
- Direct Support Professional (DSP) Wage Increase
- Thank Committee members for the 2017 legislative appropriation (a 5% Waiver rate increase) that was passed through to DSP compensation
- Discuss the importance of Direct Support Professionals to individuals served
- Explain that despite the 2017 legislative appropriation which allowed us to increase the statewide average wage from $10 to $11.21 per hour, the DSP turnover rate as of July 31, 2018 is still 48% and providers cannot recruit staff
- Urge their support for the inclusion of a 10% waiver rate increase (an appropriation of $23,100,000 per year) to be passed through to DSP compensation in the Senate version of the budget bill
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Thank Committee members for their continued commitment to and investment in workforce development initiatives
- Discuss the importance of Vocational Rehabilitation for Hoosiers with disabilities to obtain employment and contribute to the workforce
- Explain that only 39% of Hoosiers with disabilities were employed in 2017 and employing additional individuals could fill workforce shortages in many labor sectors including manufacturing, office support, food service, and grounds maintenance and cleaning
- Urge their support for the inclusion of a $3 million per year appropriation for Vocational Rehabilitation funding in the Senate version of the budget bill
- First Steps
- Thank Committee members for the inclusion of the $20 million per year appropriation for First Steps funding in the House version of the budget bill
- Discuss the importance of First Steps to children and families served
- Explain that DDRS conducted the fiscal analysis in 2018; the analysis found that 70 Indiana counties have a First Steps personnel shortage and thus cannot provide therapy services to all eligible children, and recommended an average rate increase of 55% for First Steps therapy services
- Urge their support for the continued inclusion of the $20 million per year appropriation for First Steps funding in the Senate version of the budget bill
- Case Management
- Discuss the importance of Case Management to individuals served
- Thank Committee members for approving a rate study for Case Management services in HEA 1317-2018
- Explain that DDRS conducted the rate study in the fall of 2018 and the study recommended an 18% rate increase for Case Management services
- Urge their support for the inclusion of an 18% rate increase (an appropriation of $3,200,000 million per year) to be included in the Senate version of the budget bill in order to fully fund the recommended Case Management rates
*For each topic, please emphasize why these issues are important to you as a Hoosier who cares about individuals with disabilities.
How to expand the outreach and keep the momentum going: Share this Call to Action with your staff, Boards of Directors, individuals served, families, and all of your networks.
Thank you for your help with this vital ask!