Testimony last week on the Health and Human Services agency funding areas contained in Governor John Kasich’s 2016-17 budget proposal, Blueprint for a New Ohio, included a great deal of interest in the budget allocations to DODD, (see Pipeline EXTRA, February 2, 2015). Office of Health Transformation (OHT) Director Greg Moody, Department of Medicaid Director John McCarthy, and DODD Director John Martin each responded to legislators’ questions regarding budget specifics and long-range plans for services.
Director Moody told the House Finance and Appropriations Committee that the bill would provide $316 million over the biennium to enhance services for people with developmental disabilities in their communities. He noted that the budget would lay the foundation for a 10-year vision for responsible system change to support Ohioans with disabilities who wish to live and work in the community, and offer new and different choices for services.
Under the proposed budget language, institutional settings such as DODD-operated Developmental Centers and private Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) will be encouraged to reduce their institutional capacities while increasing their community capacities. Director Martin added that the initiatives will help strengthen the system in the long-run. Speaking of the guidance offered by stakeholders, including the Strategic Planning Leadership Group, he noted,
We really support the direction they have given us, and we know that there’s a lot of work involved to move the system forward. Change cannot happen overnight.”
Director Martin added that the support from Governor John Kasich’s budget proposal is “… historic, and greatly appreciated. We’re going to be able to help 3,000 additional people, add nursing services to the Individuals Options waiver, and do many other really good, exciting things.”
State legislators currently are reviewing the proposed full State Budget bill — a thorough process which culminates in the adoption of an agreed-upon version of the bill by June 30, 2015. Pipeline will continue to bring you news of this ongoing process, and be sure to check online at these links: Our Future; Policy Detail; Fact Sheet; Governor’s website. We also invite you to share your feedback.