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WHAT'S UP, UNDER THE BIG DOME?

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VTDDC is at the State House closely monitoring policy that could impact Vermonters with disabilities. We also follow policy developments at key government agencies, including Human Services and Education.

The Vermont Legislature is currently holding a special session through September 26th in order to pass a budget for fiscal year 2021. [Earlier this year, the legislature passed a “skinny budget” to keep government services funded until the end of the month].

Lawmakers will also look at $200 million in remaining federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) that must be spent by December 30, 2020.

The Governor’s proposed budget -- called the “FY2021 Budget Restatement” – closely mirrors the budget that he proposed back in January, 2020. Governor Scott is recommending level funding for most programs and services.

The good news is that new caseload dollars are included for the Developmental Disability Services System in the proposed FY’21 budget. This allows the designated and specialized services agencies to fund supports for new people coming into services.

The bad news is that there is no rate increase to cover rising costs at the agencies. Existing services are “flat funded,” meaning that agencies must make cuts somewhere in order to stay financially sound. The VT Developmental Disabilities Council is supporting Vermont Care Partners and disability advocates in calling for a 3% increase in rates for our system of care.

Contact Sue, VTDDC's Senior Planner and Policy Analyst, by email and see what else the Council is up to: Susan.Aranoff@Vermont.gov