Sustained Funding in FY 2021 Revised Budget

Published On: October 27th, 2020Categories: News

September 30, 2020

Re:  FY 2021 Revised State Budget

Dear Members, Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities which represents providers of community services for individuals with developmental disabilities at every stage of life and at every level of independence, we are very grateful  for the sustained funding for and investment in our services and supports by Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature as evidenced by the FY 2021 Revised Budget which was signed into law on September 29, 2020.

Despite the extraordinary times and unchartered circumstances we face, the Governor, Administration and Legislature were galvanized to ensure that the services we provide, the people who provide them and the individuals who receive them will not only remain intact but will thrive.

  • Beginning on January 1, 2021, $42 million will be allocated to support a wage increase for front line staff. Because of ABCD’s advocacy, the people without whom so much would have fallen apart during the disruption of the pandemic, our direct support professionals and their supervisors, will receive a well-deserved increase to their wages. We will continue to advocate to ensure that all staff receive a living wage and a salary commensurate with the value, care and professionalism they provide to individuals.
  • Beginning on October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, a reinstitution of the $3/hour hazard pay increase for direct support professionals working in residential facilities.
  • Continuation of enhanced payments for residential providers in recognition of the additional staff needed to be in-home 24/7 for the individuals sheltering in place. The enhancement will continue through the month of October at a cost of approximately $18 million. As more individuals attend reopened day programs, it is anticipated that the enhanced payments will be reduced proportionately.
  • $25 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for reimbursement to human service providers for expenses related to personal protective equipment.
  • Preservation of resources to Early Intervention Providers and Support Coordinators.

And yet there is more work to be done which we anticipate we will address in the FY 2022 budget cycle which begins in one month:

  • The inclusion of an Absenteeism Factor in the day program rate, something that the division is committed to but did not have the funds for in the revised budget.
  • Adequate funding for the provision of day services for individuals with high medical and psychiatric needs to prevent unnecessary institutionalization.
  • A rate increase for Early Intervention providers who have effectively been without an increase for 16 years in order to continue to lay the foundation that will improve the life of the child and offer greater lifetime opportunities.
  • An increase to Support Coordinators’ compensation rate to match the educational level required by the state.

We are energized and deeply appreciative of the power of the collective commitment of the Governor, Administration, Legislature and our community to continue to support individuals with developmental disabilities as they struggle and dream for dignity, opportunity and a full life in the community.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Sincerely,

Cathy Chin

News & Advocacy