Advocacy Alert: Important Hearings 2/11 & 2/14

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There are 3 funding hearings next week (2 on Monday!). We would love to have more people in person testifying, and we’re happy to meet with you before or talk/email about what you should say & how testifying works! If you have a connection or personal experience it’s great to tell how this impacts you and how you’d like to see more funding for that issue/program. (You can also testify if you HAVE NOT received needed services- i.e.-special education, Medicaid waiver waitlists, or ABA).  If you want to submit written testimony for Monday we will need it by noon on Friday to get it copied in time. If you want to do it over the weekend & send it somewhere for us to pick up by Sunday night for Monday morning’s hearings, please email or call (512) 479-4199, ext. 4. We will be at all three hearings testifying.
1) Monday 2/11/19, 8 AM – House Appropriations: Healthcare/Waivers/ABA-Medicaid
-Getting ABA therapy covered under Medicaid
-Home and Community-based Services (HCS) & Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS)  waiting lists reduced- request more funding so kids and adults have access to services. (And/or talk about how this helped you if you actually have a Medicaid waiver & ask for funding so other children/adults can receive services & supports!)
-Restore therapist wage cuts (there were cuts 2 sessions ago & Medicaid is reimbursing therapists at such a low rate that therapy centers that take Medicaid are closing or have already closed)
2) Monday 2/11/19, 10 AM – Senate Finance: Education/Special Education
-Fund TEA’s Corrective Action Plan: Senate Bill 1, DOES NOT include the request by the Texas Education Agency for $50 million in extra funds for compensatory services for those students with disabilities harmed by the illegal 8.5% monitoring indicator.
-Ask for funding related to any issue you see that’s impacted you/your child/your school in special education or education
3) Thursday 2/14/19, 8:00 AM – House Appropriations: Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
-Fund ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) – tell why funding is needed. Did your child use ECI? How did it help? Request funding so more kids get help early!
-Add more funding because rural providers of ECI are quitting.
-Restore therapist wage cuts in order to have enough therapists
**This hearing is in JHR which is the Reagan building on the back lawn of the Capitol**
Testifying or turning in written testimony:
You are allowed to testify for up to 3 minutes, although it often gets cut to 2 minutes, so be prepared! The hearings sometimes go until late in the night as well although you can register to testify & come back later. If you can’t stay to testify, you can also come and turn in written testimony, which must include your name, and you have to provide 40 copies of the written testimony if you don’t plan to stay & testify in person! If you send written testimony to me I can turn it in, but I need the following:
-Put your comments/statements on one page in an email to me. Not an attachment!
-At the top of the email, include your name, phone, email, address and business name -all on one line. (Keep all text one page).
-The subject of your email and included in the email itself should be “”Please submit to the _____________Hearing” (Fill in name of the hearing from the web links provided above).
Capitol Address: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Capitol Visitor Parking Garage address: 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
Here are some great tips on testifying from Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities:
Please email or call 512-479-4199, ext. 4 if you are interested in testifying or turning in written testimony. We’re happy to set up a phone call or meet so we can provide more resources & information & help with talking points. Thank you.