Historic $1.2 Billion Investment will Support Floridians with Disabilities
TALLAHASSEE, FL— Governor Rick Scott is recommending $1.2 billion in total funding for APD, an increase of 23.6 million. This historic investment will eliminate the critical needs waiting list for the third year in a row, and help Floridians with disabilities live, learn and work in their communities.
Governor Scott said, “Florida has made significant investments in supporting individuals with disabilities, and I am excited to announce that we will continue on that path by eliminating the critical needs waiting list for the third year in a row. This historic investment will provide opportunities for Floridians with disabilities to receive the services and assistance they need to live more independently, find a great job, and achieve their dreams in our state.”
The “Florida First” proposed budget includes:
- $15 million to enroll more than 700 individuals with developmental disabilities on the critical needs waiting list to the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver. This is the fourth year the Governor has recommended money to serve those on the waiver waiting list.
- $10 million to reinstate Department of Education funding for the Adults with Disabilities program.
- $1 million for the Employment Enhancement Project to serve people on the waiting list who want to go to work. This funding will pay for supported employment and supported internship services for people with developmental disabilities.
- $2.6 million for staff to perform customer needs assessments using the Questionnaire for Situational Information.
- $400,000 for a Medicaid waiver Provider Rate Study.
APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I deeply thank Governor Scott for his ongoing support of individuals with disabilities. For the fourth year, Governor Scott is recommending funding to move people off the waiting list. This money will allow everyone with critical needs to enroll onto the Medicaid waiver in the coming year. I sincerely appreciate Governor Scott’s confidence in APD and compassion for those we serve.”
Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “We are excited about Governor Scott’s Florida First budget that moves 700 people with developmental disabilities from the waiver waiting list to being provided a full array of community services through the waiver. This is very important to our families, and I am so pleased. Additionally, funding for continued employment efforts are vital to individuals with disabilities so they can go to work just like everyone else.”
Betty Kay Clements, parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida, said, “The additional money being recommended by Governor Scott in his Florida First budget to reduce the number of people on the waiver waiting list is greatly appreciated.”
The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida Chairperson Janice Phillips said, “We want to extend our ongoing appreciation to Governor Scott who has embraced the challenges people with developmental disabilities face every day. Recommending funding for the fourth year to move individuals off the waiting list is great news. Also, money to help individuals achieve their employment goals is extremely important because it allows them to increase their independence.”
Area 2 Family Care Council Chairperson Lou Ogburn said, “The Family Care Council is always pleased that folks are being moved from the Medicaid waiver waiting list to the waiver. This is important to our families. And additional funds for the new client data base will be helpful to all.”
Support Coordination Association of Florida Chairman David Alexander said, “On behalf of our association, I want to thank Governor Scott for financially supporting the needs of people with disabilities. Resources are in high demand for those with developmental disabilities, and we are pleased that more people will be able to receive community support through APD with this budget recommendation.”
Special Olympics Florida President/CEO Sherry Wheelock said, “Special Olympics Florida applauds Governor Scott for recognizing the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Florida by dedicating critical funds that ensure their well-being. The Governor’s leadership and support in this area directly impacts the work of Special Olympics Florida by improving access to health care services, promoting inclusion at schools, and helping us build communities where all people are valued for their contributions.”
To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit http://www.floridafirstbudget.com/HomeFY17.htm.
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).