The Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) came out with its budget 5/12/2015, and we got some wonderful news!

 The Independent Living Center:

  • (A) got their own line item back
  • (B) got back the 84K that we lost in Governor Baker’s 9C cuts
  • (C) got an additional $500,000!!!

And – SWM allocated another one million dollars for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program, which would mean more access to housing for persons with disabilities.

 On the negative side, the SWM budget cut the amount for the Mass Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) that had been approved by the House. While the Senate number is still above that proposed by the Governor, it could still mean cuts to our DHILS program.

 First things first: thanks to all who made calls or visits to senators. Advocacy works! And big thank yous are in order to Senate President Stan Rosenberg, as well as new Ways and Means Committee member Senator Don Humason of Westfield.

 What’s next?

Advocates are trying to get a sponsor for an amendment to increase the appropriation for MCDHH. If successful, we’ll have an alert about calling senators to support this amendment.

  • Once the Senate approves its budget, it goes to a select committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.
  • We’ll be looking for more phone calls then

For Now Enjoy your victory and thanks!

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