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Friday, May 17, 2013

Call Your State Senator by 3pm Today!

From MAC - Massachusetts Advocates for Children

May 17, 2013


MAC Senate Budget Priorities

The Senate Ways and Means Budget was released on Wednesday, and amendments to the budget must be submitted by 3:00 PM TODAY.

Please ask your senator (PLEASE CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR SENATOR) to co-sponsor amendments submitted on behalf of the following priorities:

* Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver

*
Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) for Students with Disabilities

*
Civil legal aid - Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation

*
Special Education Circuit Breaker

*
Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program


Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver (# 5920-3010)
(Amendment sponsor: Senator Creem)

LINK TO FACTSHEET

The SWM budget has proposed level funding the Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver ($3 million). While we recognize that SWM must balance many compelling issues and needs, we seek co-sponsors to increase funding for the Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver to $5 million, in order to phase-in the recommendations of the state Autism Commission.

Increased funding for the Autism Waiver is fiscally prudent, even in times of limited resources. This program maximizes federal reimbursement, and cost-benefit analysis has shown that if children with autism receive intensive services at a young age, the cost savings are significant.

Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) for Students with Disabilities (#7009-9600)
(Amendment sponsor: Senator Creem)

LINK TO FACTSHEET

The SWM budget has proposed reducing the funding for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program to $400,000. We seek co-sponsors to provide an additional $560,000 to expand cost-effective college opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and other severe disabilities in less restrictive settings.

Civil Legal Aid - Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (0321-1600)
(Amendment sponsors: Senators Clark and Creem)

LINK TO FACTSHEET

The SWM budget has proposed level funding civil legal aid, but it is $1 million less than the final FY14 House appropriation and $3.5 million less than supporters have requested. We seek co-sponsors to support the full $15.5 million that will avoid further cuts in services and reductions in federal funding to the state. While legal aid has been cut drastically since 2008, individuals and families eligible for aid have continued to grow. In addition, legal aid in MA helps bring millions of federal dollars into the state.

Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012)
(Amendment sponsor: Senator Jehlen)

LINK TO FACTSHEET

The SWM budget has proposed increasing the special education circuit breaker line item account by $21.5 million over the House budget, to $252.8 Million. We seek co-sponsors to increase funding by an additional $7 million to fully fund the circuit breaker account, as estimated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program (7061-9612)
(Amendment sponsor: Senator Clark)

LINK TO FACTSHEET

This amendment will be consistent with the House budget for a new $200,000 line item that will provide grants to schools to utilize the innovative Safe and Supportive Schools Framework and its accompanying online self-assessment tool to create school wide Safe and Supportive School Action Plans. This will allow them to serve as models in creating safe and supportive schoolwide learning environments that enable all children to learn.

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