CIL Funding Restored
Posted on May 06, 2011 by Kirsten Dunham
During the development of the state budget, the Senate had cut $2.3 million from independent living fund and had cut the money that the House put in to restore the Governor’s proposed 2% rate cut and to restore the 2% cut we took in FY11.
This week the conference committee began meeting on Monday but they seemed to be at an impasse. Over the next couple of days, the committee would meet but then adjourn relatively quickly because they could not come to an agreement. The debate was centered on the priorities of the House vs. the priorities of the Senate Appropriations Chair to fund higher education. Wednesday night, the conference committee reached an agreement which included the entire funding for IL (no cuts) and the 4% rate restoration for CDS. Both the House and Senate passed the budget on Thursday with full IL funding and rate restoration intact.
This is of course great news! Centers around the state were facing potential lay-offs and even closings. CILs around the state came together to educate the legislators on the important work we do. Disability advocates organized the IL Awareness Day on April 20th, generated phone calls and emails to legislators, and worked closely with DVR, the Senate and House appropriations staff and conference committee to make sure everyone understood IL funding and what CILs do. In addition, many CIL staff showed up for the first conference committee meeting on Monday to demonstrate support for the IL programs. Their involvement did not go unnoticed.
The budget is now in the Governor’s hands. Reports say it is $30 million out of balance, and the Governor may have to do with holds. In his initial budget proposal, Governor Nixon included a 2% rate cut but did not touch IL funding. While we are in the final stages of the budget process, it is not over and we must continue monitor these priorities.
This is a great outcome after a hard fought battle. The other great outcome is that this crisis created an opportunity to mobilize all the CILs and fully educate all the new legislators on independent living and CILs.