Missouri State Capitol

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The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee is weighing harmful budget cuts for people with disabilities.

Please read the summaries below and reach out to your legislators and ask them to protect these sources of funding.

Centers for Independent Living

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee began their markup of the appropriation bills. One of the major changes from the House version was to strip $3.5 million of funding for Centers for Independent Living.

Paraquad is one of 22 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in Missouri. Our general revenue dollars, the ones on the chopping block, allow us to provide core services mandated by the state and federal legislation. Like all of the CILs, Paraquad provides valuable services, benefiting more than 3,000 people with disabilities and their families each year. Learn more about Paraquad’s impact on your community here.

The budget will go to the full Senate then to a conference committee, which will be made up of Senate Appropriations Committee members as well as House Budget Committee members, before being finalized. You can impact this cut by contacting your senator or members of the House Budget Committee.

If you have been positively impacted by any of our programs and services, please contact your House or Senate member and ask them to reinstate funding for Centers for Independent Living. You can find their contact information here.

Consumer Directed Services

The Senate Appropriations Committee is working on the budget this week. Here’s how key items for people with disabilities we’ve been tracking stand right now:

  • Consumer Directed Services level of care: In his initial budget, Gov. Eric Greitens proposed changing the level of care from 21 points to 27 points. The House budget committee, through a series of amendments and proposed bills (HCB3), recommends leaving the level of care eligibility at 21 points. The difference in costs between this proposal and Gov. Greitens’ initial budget would be offset through the elimination of the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.
  • Medicaid Provider Rates: The initial budget proposal included a 3 percent cut; currently, the budget has that at 1.5 percent.
  • Consumer Directed Services capping of services at 60 percent of nursing home cost. This would arbitrarily limit services for those with the most need to no more than 3.45 hours per day. There has been no movement to eliminate this cut.

The cap in services is important. People with the most significant disabilities will go without needed services and may be at risk for institutional or nursing home placement. Please contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee or your own senator and let them know these services are important to you or those you care about.

Cathy Brown is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Paraquad. She can be reached at cbrown@paraquad.org or on Twitter at @Cathy__Brown.

Photo credit: Danielle Kellogg

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