TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: May 16, 2003
RE: Update 131

Gov. Romney Submits Reorganization Plan

This week, Governor Mitt Romney submitted a reorganization plan under the authority granted him in Article 87 of the State Constitution.

The Article 87 provision gives the Governor the power to consolidate agencies and reorganize functions within the Executive Department. Sixty days after submitting the plan to the Legislature, the plan becomes law unless disapproved by a majority of either the House or Senate.

Gov. Romney divided the Article 87 submission into two parts - a comprehensive plan that makes changes in the existing Cabinet and creates new secretariats for education, economic affairs and Commonwealth development, and a separate filing covering higher education only.

The plan creates a 13-member Cabinet consisting of six Executive Offices (Public Safety and Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Commonwealth Development, Administration and Finance, Economic Affairs, Education) and seven Departments (Elder Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Community Development, Environment, Labor, Business and Technology, Consumer and Commercial Services). The heads of each Department and Executive Office share full secretary status, which was not the case previously.

The benefits of the plan to restructure state government include:

  • Proposed legislation will reorganize, streamline and reform Executive branch operations to give the Governor, Cabinet and executive leadership the tools necessary to manage well with fewer resources and to create accountability in the chain of command.
  • For first time, the entire structure of the Executive branch will be described in a single, comprehensive chapter of the General Laws, enabling the public and members of the Legislature to know at a glance who is in charge of what.
  • The proposal does not change any of the rights, services or responsibilities conferred under the General Laws; this legislation only changes the structure of the Executive branch.
  • All collective bargaining rights and employee seniority are preserved by explicit provision.

The highlights from the summary affecting Health and Human services are:

Executive Office of Health and Human Services Principles:

  • To organize existing agencies based on commonalities to foster collaboration, service improvements, and efficiencies;
  • To ensure strong budget and regulatory control;
  • To preserve the missions of the agencies and ensure that clients are well represented and respected.
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services has overall authority and responsibility for the administration and management of health and human services. EOHHS will exercise the budget and regulatory functions for all offices and agencies within EOHHS. However, the Secretary can delegate authority to perform these functions to the agencies.
  • Core administrative functions will be centralized within EOHHS for efficiency and reduced cost.
  • EOHHS will be the single state agency authorized to supervise and administer state programs under Medicaid and other federal programs.
  • The mission of the individual agencies will be preserved, and they will continue to manage and deliver health and mental health care, social services, child protection, community-based and nursing home care, TANF and other public assistance, and other services.
  • Assistant Secretaries (who are also agency commissioners) will provide for consistency, collaboration, and efficiency of programs and service delivery across agencies:
    • Department of Health will include the Departments of Public Health and Mental Health;
    • Department of Disabilities and Community Services will include the Department of Mental Retardation, the Massachusetts Commissions for Rehabilitation, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Blind, and the Soldiers Homes;
    • Department of Children, Youth, and Family Services will include the Departments of Social Services, Youth Services, Transitional Assistance, the Offices of Child Care Services, Refugees and Immigrants, and the Children's Trust Fund Board.
    • Department of Elder Affairs will be under the direction of the Secretary of Elder Affairs.
    • Department of Veterans' Services will be a separate agency within EOHHS reporting to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • The Division of Medical Assistance and Division of Health Care Finance and Policy will been integrated into EOHHS-wide functions. Long-term care functions will be assigned administratively to Disabilities and Community Services, and acute care will be assigned administratively to the Department of Health. The functions of the current Division of Health Care Finance and Policy will be performed by the Department of Public Health.
  • The Disabled Persons Protection Commission has moved to EOHHS.

To view the full proposal and executive summary of the plan please go to: http://www.mass.gov/portal/index.jsp?pageID=agcc&agid=gov&agca=reorg&agcc=execsummary.

FY04 House Budget Impact Statement

The House Ways and Means Committee released its budget recommendation on April 23rd. It recommended a budget of $1.01 billion for the Department of Mental Retardation, including the $7.5 million from the Department of Education. The Committee gave general support to the consolidation of the Human Services Secretariat, but it did not support the transfer of legal resources to the Solicitor General's Office, and also chose not to restore the funding for these positions. The Department did receive a budget that will allow it to meet the requirements of the Boulet, Rolland and Ricci court orders.

The budget was debated in early May and resulted in an additional $3.2 million being restored to the DMR budget. The Senate Ways and Means budget is expected to be released next week.

5911-1000 Administration - $12,557,525
This account was reduced by $1.1 million, which will result in a reduction in staff of approximately 17.5 positions.

5911-1002 Retained Revenue - Guardianship and Eligibility Fees - $0
This new account, filed in the Governor's budget recommendation, was not included in the House FY04 budget.

5911-1210 Medical Administration - $0
This account was consolidated into the Residential account (5920-2000) at the FY03 amount of $437,451.

5911-2000 Transportation - $13,239,367
The Transportation account was reduced by $1.5 million. Approximately 370 individuals will lose transportation services.

5911-2002 Retained Revenue - Day and Transportation Fees - $0
This new account, filed in the Governor's budget recommendation, was not included in the House FY04 budget.

5920-1000 Regional Administration - $52,049,675
This account was reduced by approximately $1.8 million. This includes approximately $775,000 that was originally supposed to transfer to the Solicitor General's Office and $800,000 of savings due to administrative restructuring the Department committed to in House 1. The $1.8 million reduction would result in the layoff of approximately 38 employees.

5920-2000 Community Residential - $448,716,888
The House Ways and Means budget reduced the Community Residential account by $6.5 million from House 1, specifically targeted at individual supports. However, $1 million was restored in an amendment on the House floor. As a result of a $5.5 million cut, approximately 635 DMR clients will lose individual supports. This account includes funding from the Medical Administration account (5911-1210), $437,451 and a transfer of $16,500,000 (before the $5.5 million cut) from the Family Support account for individual supports. It also includes $9.52 million in funding for the annualization of FY03 Turning 22 placements and $4.8 million for Rolland.

Community State Operated - $110,905,005
The Community State Operated account was reduced by $1.0 million, which includes $682,000 that was a transfer of lawyer positions in House 1 but is now a reduction. The $1 million reduction will result in the loss of approximately 23 positions.

5920- 2020 Wait List - Boulet Settlement - $49,500,000
This account is funded at $49.5 million. This includes $3.5 million in annualized FY03 funding and $9.5 million out of $15 million in new funding for additional placements in FY04 in accordance with the Boulet court order.

5920-2025 Day Services - $106,149,278
The Day Services account was increased by $1 million dollars in a House floor amendment, making the account approximately $200,000 higher than the House 1 recommendation. This account includes $2.72 million in funding for the annualization of FY03 Turning 22 placements.

5920-3000 Respite Services - $46,800,000
The Respite account was initially reduced by $1.5 million in the House Ways and Means budget, but $1.2 million was restored on the House floor. The account was reduced by $16.5 million of individual support funding, which was moved into the Residential Services account (5920-2000). This account also includes $1.36 million in funding for the annualization of the FY03 Turning 22 program.

5920-5000 Turning 22 - $6,467,670
The Turning 22 account for new placements in FY04 was level funded.

5930-1000 Facilities - $163,661,641
The Facility account was increased by approximately $2.6 million dollars from House 1, to restore savings that were overestimated in House 1. The Department will initiate the closing of the Fernald Developmental Center in FY04 consistent with the legislative language in the House budget as amended.

CAB Annual Meeting, May 30

On Friday, May 30th, members of the DMR Citizen Advisory Boards (CAB) will gather at the Calvary Retreat Center in Shrewsbury for their Annual Meeting. Registration begins at 9 a. m.

A highlight of the Annual Meeting will be a Town Meeting with Commissioner Morrissey. This session will provide an opportunity to have a frank and informal discussion with the Commissioner. DMR's Executive Staff will also be on hand to provide more detailed information on specific topics such as housing, transportation, health and safety, the federal waiver, and other topics.

Gail Grossman, Assistant Commissioner for Quality Management (QM), will lead a discussion on Quality Management. She will explain the comprehensiveness of QM and the various roles that CABs play to assure the health and safety and quality of life for individuals with mental retardation. Tom Anzer, Director of the Office of Human Rights and Bernie Murphy, Director of Investigations, will provide updates on their areas of expertise.

Several CAB members will lead workshops specifically designed for members. Angel Diaz (Holyoke/Chicopee CAB) and Regina LaVasseur (North Shore CAB) will describe their boards' efforts in recruiting members and engaging them in productive activities. In the Family Citizen Monitoring workshop, Randy Webster, Director of the Fall River Area Office, and CAB members will exchange ideas and share experiences. Commissioner Morrissey along with SAC Chair, Rita Fallon, will meet with CAB Chairs.

For more information on the Annual Meeting, please contact Ralph Edwards at (617) 624-7755 or by e-mail at ralph.edwards@state.ma.us.

New Features & Information Added to DMR Website

A number of new features and information have been added to the DMR web site in recent months.

The "About DMR" section now contains information, address, and contact information for all DMR Area Offices and Developmental Centers. In the "News, Links, and Information Section," The Resource Section has been indexed for easier viewing and searching. More listings have been added including recreational camps for people with disabilities.

In the Provider section Purchase of Service Contracting and Recontracting Forms for FY04 have been updated.

The DMR web site is located at http://www.mass.gov/dmr.

Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation Relocates

The Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation has relocated to new offices. Their new address is: Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation, 2 Boylston Street, Fourth Floor, Boston, MA 02116. Their new phone number is: (617) 988-3200.

SWARC Holds Legislative Breakfast

The Southern Worcester County Arc and the South Valley DMR Advisory Board held their annual legislative breakfast and employer recognition ceremony on Thursday morning, May 15 in Webster.

Commissioner Morrissey was the featured speaker at the event. The event recognized employers and businesses in the Southern Worcester County area that have hired people with disabilities.

ArcLink Adds Massachusetts to National Web Site

ArcLink.org, a national disability web site, has recently added Massachusetts information into its database of services and providers. Other states recently added include Ohio and New York.

According to ArcLink, the site allows viewers to find on one place how the disability service system works in their state works and is a place to find information on providers, advocacy services, and state specific news. They can also access information from many other states. The site is located at http://www.thearclink.org. The Massachusetts information for the site was prepared by the Arc of Massachusetts.

ArcLink is one of the services provided by The Arc of the United States, a national organization of and for people with mental retardation and related disabilities and their families.

CHAPA Offers Housing Trainings

The Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) will conduct several regional trainings on housing and independent living opportunities at various locations across Massachusetts. The sessions are designed for people with disabilities, families, housing and disability advocates, and provider agencies.

The trainings are "Introduction to Housing," for people new to the housing process, and "Creative Housing Solutions," for people who understand housing options and need help implementing them.

By attending one of these sessions, participants will learn more about how to navigate the housing system, goal setting and identifying housing and financial needs, how to understand the parameters of home ownership, how to identify resources, how to use available resources for independent living, and secure rental housing search tips.

"Introduction to Housing" will be offered at three locations across the state. They are: Monday, June 2, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Second Floor, Government Center, 55 New Sudbury Street, Boston; Friday, June 6, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., Plymouth Public Library, Otto Fehlow Room, 132 South Street, Plymouth; and Thursday, June 19, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., Holyoke Community College, Frost Building, 303 Holmstead Ave., Holyoke. Designed for people who are interested in expanding their knowledge of housing, this training will serve as an introduction to self-determination in housing and models that provide increased opportunity for independent living.

"Creative Housing Solutions" will be offered at the following locations: Wednesday, June 11, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., the Lowell Community Teamwork's Head Start Office, 126 Phoenix Ave., Lowell; and Thursday, June 26, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., the Worcester Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Senior Center, 128 Province St., Worcester. Designed for people who have a good knowledge of the housing options available, but need assistance in implementing them, this training provides creative approaches to housing and supports that can serve as models for others in similar situations.

Established in 1967, CHAPA is the non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities throughout Massachusetts.
CHAPA's mission is to encourage the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low-income families and individuals.

The conference is cosponsored by: Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation, the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.

For information regarding these trainings, please contact Janna Peckham at CHAPA at V/TTY (617) 742-0820, or toll free (800) 466-3111 or by e-mail: jpeckham@chapa. To download a brochure, please go to their web site at http://www.chapa.org .



This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.