Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Budget Passes - What's Included for the Autism Community?Budget Passes - What's Included for the Autism Community?

The budget has been passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.
Your calls and emails on behalf of legislation to support individuals with autism and their families have made a difference.
Thanks to your advocacy with legislators, the Autism Society of North Carolina’s (ASNC) 2008 legislative priorities are included in the budget. The state budget includes funding for:
CAP MR/DD Tier One Waiver Slots: Beginning November 2008, this funding will add additional Tier One Waiver slots statewide. This waiver slot allocation includes Piedmont Behavioral Health Care, (the Local Management Entity (LME) that serves Cabarrus, Davidson, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties).
**As an aside, the proposed services to be available in the new Tiered Waivers beginning on November 8, can be viewed by clicking here. The Division of Mental Health will accept comments on these through August 17, 2008.  Instructions for comments can be found on the above link.
START Crisis Model for Developmental Disabilities: (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Respite and Treatment) These funds will establish six crisis teams to support individuals with developmental disabilities experiencing crisis. This funding also provides support for 12 crisis respite beds across the state.
Autism Early Intervention: This funding covers direct early intervention services in three model programs and the Society's statewide training for parents and professionals.
Housing 400 Initiative-Housing Trust Fund: This funding finances independent and supportive living apartments for individuals with disabilities.
Supportive Services for HUD 811 Project: This funding provides start-up and operating expenses for 6 two-bedroom and 19 one-bedroom apartments located in Wake, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Buncombe County and financed through HUD.
School Services for Students with Disabilities: This funding provides additional money to school districts for special education and related services for students with identified disabilities.
Beyond Academics: Intellectual Disability Transition Program: This funding supports Beyond Academics, a non-degree university-based program for students with developmental disabilities.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Public Safety: This legislation addresses the need for autism specific training for law enforcement, judicial and court personnel. It also removes the age limit on the State's Silver Alert system.
In addition, Special provisions direct:
* The Institute of Medicine to study the barriers and best practices for transitions for persons with developmental disabilities.  
* The Division of MH/DD/SAS to develop a plan to return CAP MR/DD authorizations and utilization management to the LME’s. A statewide utilization vendor, Value Options, currently completes authorizations.

* DHHS and DPI  to determine each agency's responsibility when  a child is in a private residential treatment center. 

* School Violence Prevention Act- the Bullying Bill. This bill did not pass.

Now is the time for that all important thank you letter ( call, email or visit ).
There are many legislators who deserve our appreciation for their hard work during this session. They receive many calls asking for their support; they receive many less calls thanking them when that support is given...
Please contact your representatives in the General Assembly and thank them for their efforts to support individuals with autism and their families in our state.

Next Steps - What Can You Do?
Send an email or make a call to any and all Senators and Representatives that you contacted during the session.
In addition, contact the key leaders listed below who went above and beyond on our behalf. If you live in their district, make sure you identify yourself as a constituent. Tell them your connection to autism and how the actions they took will help your child and your family.
Here are the key Senators to contact. (Click on their name to send an email):
Sen. Linda Garrou, 919–733- 5620; (Sen. Garrou represents Forsyth County). Sen. Garrou was the chief sponsor and strong advocate for the  Autism Early Intervention Bill  and the  2006 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
Sen. William R. Purcell, 919-733-5953; (Sen.Purcell represents Anson, Richmond, Stanly, and Scotland Counties). Sen. Purcell is the 2007 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
Sen. Marc Basnight, 919-733-6854; (Sen. Basnight represents Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties) Sen. Basnight is the President Pro tem of the Senate
Sen. Doug Berger, 919-715-8363; (Sen. Berger represents Franklin, Granville, Vance, and Warren Counties).
Sen. Charlie S. Dannelly, 919-733-5955; (Sen. Dannelly represents Mecklenburg County).
Sen. Charles W. Albertson, 919-733-5705; (Sen. Albertson represents Duplin, Lenoir, and Sampson Counties).
Sen. Kay R. Hagan, 919-733-5856; (Sen. Hagan represents Guilford County). Sen. Hagan is the 2005 ASNC Legislator of the Year.

Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr., 919-715-3001; ( Sen. Nesbitt represents Buncombe County) Sen. Nesbitt is the Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for MH/DD/SAS.
Here are key Representatives to contact. (Click on their name to send an email):
Rep. James W. Crawford, Jr., 919-733-5824; (Rep. Crawford represents Granville and Vance Counties) Rep. Crawford is the chief sponsor for the Autism Early Intervention Bill in the House and is the 2007 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
Rep. Beverly M. Earle, 919-715-2530; (Rep. Earle represents Mecklenburg County)
Rep. Rick Glazier, 919-733-5601; (Rep. Glazier represents Cumberland County)
Rep. Jeff Barnhart, 919-715-2009; (Rep. Barnhardt represents Cabarrus County) Rep. Barnhardt is the 2006 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
Rep. Bob England, 919-733-5749; (Rep. England represents Cleveland and Rutherford Counties)

Rep. Martha Alexander, 919-733-5807; (Rep. Alexander represents Mecklenburg County) Rep. Alexander is the 2000 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
Rep. Verla Insko, 919-733-7208; (Rep. Insko represents Orange County) Rep. Insko is the Co Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on MH/DD/SAS.
Rep. R. Phillip Haire, 919-715-3005; (Rep. Haire represents Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties).
Rep. Maggie Jeffus, 919-733-5191; (Rep. Jeffus represents Guilford County)
Rep. Alma Adams, 919-733-5902; (Rep. Adams represents Guilford County).
Rep. Joe P. Tolson, 919-715-3024; (Rep. Tolson represents Edgecombe and Wilson Counties).
Rep. Douglas Y. Yongue, 919-733-5821; (Rep.Yongue represents Hoke, Robeson, and Scotland Counties).
Rep. Henry M. Michaux, Jr., 919-715-2528; (Rep. Michaux represents Durham County).
Rep. Bill Owens, 919-733-0010; (Rep. Owens represents Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank, and Tyrrell Counties).
Rep. Hugh Holliman, 919-715-0873; (Rep. Holliman represents Davidson County) Rep. Holliman is the House Majority Leader.
Rep. Joe Hackney, 919-733-3451; (Rep. Hackney represents Chatham, Moore, and Orange Counties) Rep. Hackney is the Speaker of the House.
Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, 919-733-5823; (Rep. Goodwin represents Montgomery and Richmond Counties) Rep. Goodwin is the 2007 ASNC Legislator of the Year.
We will be planning some legislative thank you events through out the state later this summer and will let you know how you can be involved.

Thanks for all your support during his session.

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