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New Legislation Aims to Protect Programs that Help Developmentally Disabled

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Facebook

State Senator James Seward announced Tuesday final legislative passage of a bill that would protect providers for services for developmentally disabled from state funding cuts.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Seward, would appropriate up to $90 million to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures fall short of projections.

Senator Seward and his Republican colleagues in the senate strongly opposed the proposal in the governor’s budget for $240 million in across-the-board funding cuts to OPWDD.

The senate’s budget resolution, passed in March, called for the full restoration of funding for OPWDD. The final state budget restored $60 million in state and federal funds to OPWDD. In addition, the budget created a work group that identified alternatives to minimize the impact of the cuts.

The plan included using funds from Medicaid fraud recoveries, implementing less costly approaches to treatment, and ensuring that Medicaid is the payer of last resort.

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