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State Disability News 06/10/19

June 10, 2019

Rights & Access

Kentucky (, 06/06/19), The Kentucky Supreme Court is considering whether or not to return a child to its mother who has “autism and a low IQ”.  The child was removed from the mother at just seven days old because of the presumption that the mother would be unable to care for the child.  Since that time, the child has been in foster care and mother has only been allowed supervised visits.  The state maintains that the mother could not make progress in her developmental delays but the mother’s attorney disagrees, stating that research shows parenting skills can be learned by people with IDD.  Justice Debra Lambert questioned why the woman had not been evaluated in five years stating, “There’s a lot of developmental progress between 19 and 24… It seems to me like there’s a big assumption like that she is never going to do any better than she’s done.”

Maine – (Story curtesy of ANCOR subscription to PoliticoPro, 06/04/19),  The Maine legislature has passed a bill to allow physician assisted suicide for patients that are terminally ill and expected to have less that six months to live and determined to not have a psychological disorder or depression that might impair their judgement.

National – (Disability Scoop, 06/06/19),  Recent data out of the US Department of Education noted that more children are receiving special education services through IDEA then during the previous measurement period.  Study shows that in 2011-2012 there were 6.4 million students in special education (or 13% of all students) versus 7 million or 14% in 2017-2018.  Autism accounted for 10% of students in special ed compared to 7% with developmental delay and 6% with intellectual disability.


Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion & MLTSS

California – (The Telegraph, 06/09/19),  Lawmakers and Gov. Newsome generally agree on this year’s budget proposals which include the provision of expanding Medicaid to illegal immigrants between the ages of 19-25 and those over 65 as well as the continuance of a provider tax on MCOs which is set to generate $1.8 billion

Kentucky – (Health Payer Intelligence, 06/05/19), A proposed amendment to the state plan in Kentucky is being reviewed by CMS and is seeking the authority to utilize Medicaid funds to provide care to children in the school setting.  Gov. Matt Bevin announced, “This is an example of state government working across cabinets to find solutions to address the growing need for increased access to mental health services, preventive care, and other health services in our schools.”

Pennsylvania –  (Skook News, 06/07/19) The Senate Policy and Health & Human Services committees are holding a workshop om the addition of work-requirements on non-elderly, non-disabled Medicaid recipients.  Senate Majority Policy chairman David G. Argall is looking to this move due to the 486,000 Pennsylvanians who meet the criteria. His goal is “to come together and discuss this issue thoroughly with professionals so that we can come to a meaningful compromise to address this issue”. 

Wisconsin - (Milwaukee Courier, 06/06/19),  Republic legislators refused to consider expanding Medicaid and decided to forgo $1.6 billion in enhanced federal funds in doing so.  Rep. Gordon Hintz has been a strong advocate for Medicaid expansion was quoted saying, “Medicaid expansion isn’t just about health care. It’s about building a better Wisconsin for everyone.”


State Budget

Ohio (The Center Square, 6/06/19), Amidst tax cuts and a demand for increased funding for schools, the Ohio legislature is considering a funding increase for DSP wages to bring the average wage to $13.00/hour.  Senate Democrats previously intended to raise wages to $10/hour for overnight on-call shifts and $15./hour for DSPs.

Louisiana – (, 06/08/19)  Lawmakers agree to expand Medicaid to children with developmental disabilities despite the parents making too much money to qualify for the program.

Virginia (Falls Church News Press, 06/10/19)  Gov. Northum announced his plan to earmark $11 million to develop Affordable and Special Needs housing loans in an effort to create or preserve 1,283 affordable units around the state. The project will include permanent, supportive housing units for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.