“We’re on the move. We’re rising. The sun is coming up again in Wilmington. The sun has come up again in Ohio but it hasn’t reached its zenith.”
In Wilmington last week, Governor John Kasich’s State of the State address highlighted elements of the 2016-17 budget proposal, Blueprint for a New Ohio, including comments noting that the bill provides $316 million over the biennium to enhance services for people with developmental disabilities in their communities. The enthusiastically-delivered speech touched on many topics including proposals in the budget regarding health care, such as moving individuals with developmental disabilities out of institutions and into more home-like settings.
During the address the Governor stated, “We’re raising up people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. I’d say that the entity of developmental disabilities is getting the largest raise in this budget. We want to get them in a setting where they can prosper. Some of them are in their homes where parents are under unbelievable stress … some of them are in institutions. We’d like to get them in a home. If they want to stay in the institution, we’d like them to stay.”
DODD and other state agency leadership representatives traveling to Clinton County made the most of the highly-anticipated State of the State address during the hours preceding it by visiting several local agencies and projects that illustrate successes supported by the Governor’s last budget, and that will be furthered by the Governor’s initiatives during the biennium. Events included a visit highlighting DODD’s Employment First partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), and its success in moving individuals into integrated community employment.
In addition, the Clinton County Board of DD welcomed the visitors to a Provider Alliance Network group meeting, and an Early Intervention Services meeting with parents. DODD representatives also were welcomed to the Wilmington College Athletics Department, where they offer employment and volunteer opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities, and they toured homes that have been transitioned from Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) to three-person homes using capital housing dollars.
The Governor’s yearly report to the people of Ohio is a reminder of the many exciting opportunities that await the state, as legislators continue the process of reviewing the proposed full State Budget bill. Adoption of an agreed-upon version of the bill must be accomplished 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