The Arc of North Carolina has created the following document as an outline for our 2016 legislative agenda. We want you to be aware of the advocacy work we are doing on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
THE ARC OF NORTH CAROLINA 2016 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The Arc of North Carolina is an advocacy and service organization working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families for over 60 years. The Arc is committed to securing for all people with I/DD the opportunity to choose and realize their goals of where and how they live, learn, work and play. Informed by our mission, this document represents broad policy priorities adopted by our statewide, volunteer board of directors.
The Arc of North Carolina supported the following legislation during the 2015 legislative session. We continue to support and advocate for the passage of these three bills which address the needs of people with I/DD and their families.
H817: Enact Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship-This legislation establishes a standard uniform law on guardianship in our state. This bill received unanimous bipartisan support in the House.
H842: Medicaid Waiver Protections/Military Families-This legislation will allow for a family member of active duty military personnel to remain in their current position on the waitlist for an Innovation waiver slot if their family is deployed. In addition this legislation permits a person who is on a waiver currently and needs to leave our state with a deployed family member to be able to access that waiver upon returning to North Carolina.
H714: Behavioral Analyst Licensure-This legislation will create a licensure process and board for practitioners of Applied Behavioral Analysis.
BUDGET AND POLICY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:
The state budget must provide a stable system of care, support and opportunity for people with I/DD across the lifespan. The budget must reflect a cohesive system of innovative services that 1. provides options to individuals and families, 2. streamlines regulatory requirements on providers, and 3. maximizes funds by leveraging state and federal matching dollars through waivers and other tools.
-Increase funding to expand Innovations Waiver slots to address the growing wait list in our state.
-Increase funding for crisis services programs that address the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including services provides by NCSTART and case management to children dual diagnosed with I/DD and mental health needs.
-Increase Medicaid rates for Innovations waiver services and Personal Care Medicaid services.
-Provide under Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment evidence-based intensive behavioral treatments for children and youth on the Autism Spectrum.
-Fund a pilot project for case management as proposed in the House budget to address the needs of people with I/DD on the wait list for services in NC.
-Remove Arc of NC from the competitive grant process for our guardianship services. Guardianship is a critical support service and is currently a fee for service model.
EDUCATION BUDGET AND POLICY:
It is imperative that North Carolina raise the graduation rate for students with disabilities while providing more options for and greater access to post-secondary educational opportunities and broader employment opportunities. The education system for students with I/DD must provide more outcome-based goals for exceptional children, greater access to career-ready diplomas, increased integration of accessible digital learning options, and earlier and improved transition services planning.
-Increase funding for the Students with Disabilities Grant Program to address the states growing waitlist.
-Seclusion and Restraint Training Initiatives for SRO-more robust policy based on Arc of the US national platform.
-Establish centers for excellence in three state regions to promote and support the increased need for post secondary opportunities for students with I/DD.
-Open state funding options for students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to access post secondary education./DD to access PSE
-Protect against funding reductions or cuts to support Teacher Assistant positions in grades K-3.
The General Fund supports critical needs including education, employment options, and support services for people with I/DD. These services need to be funded to meet the needs of the citizens of North Carolina.
-Tax revenue policies should be reflective of the needs of the state’s citizens and the systems that support them
-Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
North Carolina must continue to support the right of citizens with disabilities to participate in the electoral process without undue hardship or barriers to their constitutional rights.
-Direct the Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles to work with stakeholders to create guidance on the distribution of free, state-issued identification cards
-Address polling place accessibility, lengthy wait times to vote, and the training of staff to support and protect the rights of voters with disabilities.