Governor’s Budget Would Fund APD Waiting List for Second Year
Stakeholders Applaud Governor’s Budget
TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida Governor Rick Scott is recommending funding to serve all the individuals with critical needs on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiver waiting list. Governor Scott’s proposed 2014-2015 It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget includes $1.14 billion for APD with $20 million to serve the waiting list. The money will be used to enroll about 1,400 individuals into the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver so they can pay for services in their local communities. This is the second year the Governor has recommended funding to serve the waiting list. The Governor’s budget proposal is receiving unanimous praise from disability stakeholders.
APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I am thrilled with Governor Scott’s decision to fund the waiver waiting list for a second year. With this money we will be able to serve everyone with critical needs on the Medicaid waiver waiting list which is a priority for our Governor. Families, waiver support coordinators, providers, and our employees have worked very hard to be effective and efficient with the dollars provided to the agency and will continue to do so in the future. I appreciate Governor Scott’s ongoing support and confidence in APD.”
Governor Scott’s budget proposal includes $1 million to assist people on the waiver waiting list who have indicated that they want to go to work. This second year of funding will pay for Supported Employment and supported internship services for about 400 people with developmental disabilities.
Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Jean Sherman said, “Again this year, we are heartened by the fact that Governor Scott is actively responding to the needs of families and individuals who are on the waiting list for services through the waiver. His legislative request for an additional $20 million will mean so much to these families and will also allow more individuals with disabilities to prepare to enter the world of work. We are confident that the highly cost-effective results achieved by APD this past year in transitioning more than the expected number of individuals to the waiver will convince the Legislature of the wisdom of this new appropriation. Families are also hopeful that continuing this positive financial response will lead to the elimination of the waiting list in the very near future.”
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Debra Dowds said, “We are very appreciative of Governor Rick Scott for his continued support to address the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities. Through this additional funding many more people with developmental disabilities on the waiting list will be offered waiver enrollment and receive the services they need to be employed, independent, and to meaningfully participate in their communities.”
Betty Kay Clements, parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida, said, “I am so very happy that Governor Scott is again recommending money to serve people on the APD Medicaid waiver waiting list in his budget recommendations. The $20 million will assist in bringing everyone with critical needs off the list in the coming year. Governor Scott certainly provided real leadership and action for our individuals this past year and it meant so very much to families I have spoken with. I want to thank Governor Scott for continuing to support individuals and their families who can accomplish so much with needed services and supports provided by the Home and Community-Based Services waiver.”
The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida chairperson Janice Phillips said, “We are again extremely fortunate to have a leader like Governor Scott who has embraced the issues of individuals in Florida with developmental disabilities. These individuals are in critical need of services and have been on a waiting list. The funding that is being recommended by Governor Scott will provide much needed services to these citizens. It is also very commendable that funding for Supported Employment is again being recommended to meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities who are trying to enter the workforce and become productive citizens of our state.”
“The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and its member agencies are delighted to see that Governor Scott has again responded to the needs of families and individuals who are on the waiting list for services. Also, we are pleased that the Governor is seeking funding for Supported Employment services so that individuals with developmental disabilities can realize their employment goals. Finally, we want to thank Governor Scott for participating in so many APD Town Hall meetings over the last year and for taking the time to learn about the needs of the individuals served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Governor Scott has shown that he is a true advocate for Floridians with disabilities. His proposed budget demonstrates this commitment,” said Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Executive Director Suzanne Sewell.
Area 2 Family Care Council Chairperson Lou Ogburn said, “The Tallahassee Area 2 Family Care Council is pleased with Governor Scott’s budget proposal which includes needed money for Supported Employment and the waiting list. I am also happy to see continued funding for those already receiving services.”
Governor Scott is recommending $1.8 million for a new APD data system that will provide service-specific information from providers regarding service delivery dates and progress, as well as better verification that services were delivered at the times and locations that were authorized by the agency. Additionally, this data system will include an electronic client central record that will provide the agency with information that can be used to more effectively serve individuals with developmental disabilities by providing electronic information that will track provider services and progress of the client.
APD Director Palmer said, “It is evident from Governor Scott’s recommendations that he listened during the APD Town Hall meetings last fall and is keeping his promise to help Florida’s most vulnerable citizens with disabilities.”
To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit www.FLItsYourMoney.com.
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).