TO: The DMR Community
FROM: Gerry Morrissey
DATE: January 28, 2004
RE: Update 137

FY05 House 1 Budget

On January 28, 2004, Governor Romney released his Fiscal Year 2005 House 1 Budget. This budget recommends $1.044 billion for the Department of Mental Retardation and an additional $7.5 million in the Department of Education budget to continue funding the successful DOE/DMR project. The FY05 budget recommendations for DMR represent an overall $30 million increase over the current Fiscal Year 2004 budget. House 1 fully funds Boulet and Rolland and the full annualized costs for the FY04 Turning 22 placements. It also includes reductions in several accounts of the Department.

The FY05 budget process was difficult due to Massachusetts' continuing financial condition. The Commonwealth is still faced with a serious budget deficit with Medicaid and health care costs continuing to grow. In previous fiscal years, the budget reductions faced by the Department were mitigated by strategies that included aggressive revenue management and efficiencies through re-organization and consolidations. In FY04, the Department took an $8.9 million service cut in the budget and absorbed a $6 million administrative reduction to its base funding by taking actions that included early retirements and layoffs. In FY04, the number of DMR staff was cut from 7,182 FTEs to 6,954 FTEs (reduction of 128 FTEs). Since June 2001, the Department has lost 483 FTEs.

Difficult services reductions were required to address the FY05 fiscal deficit. In considering what services to reduce, the Commonwealth was constrained from reducing services which carry legal entitlement, federal or state-mandated programs and court orders. As a result, services that are state-funded and subject to appropriation were, therefore, most vulnerable in addressing the fiscal deficit.

5911-1000 Administration - $12,536,658
This consolidated account represents over $8 million of employee required chargeback expenses (Workers Compensation, Medicaid, Unemployment, and Universal Health) in FY05, leaving approximately $4.5 million for payroll, travel and administrative expenses.

5911-2000 Transportation - $8,956,777
House 1 recommends a $4.3 million reduction for the Transportation account for FY05. It is targeted to those transportation services provided which are state-funded only and therefore subject to appropriation and the appropriation is not adequate to continue services to all current these individuals receiving these services. This reduction will eliminate transportation services for 798 individuals who are also losing their day and/or supported employment services or programs. This cut will result in these individuals staying at home with or without caregivers, which may put them at risk.

5920-1000 Regional Administration - $52,228,078
This account includes a $1 million reduction, which represents the elimination of 20 service coordinator positions out of 477 positions. The Department will need to reassign 1,000 consumers to the remaining service coordinators. This will create an increase in their workload and a decrease in availability for case management to these consumers and all others who receive their services. Service Coordinators play an essential role in connecting individuals to needed resources and in performing risk management functions to protect individuals from harm.

5920-2000 Community Residential - $475,767,558
The House 1 recommends $475.8 million to fund the Community Residential account for FY05. It includes $5 million for new Rolland placements, annualization of the FY04 funding for Rolland and Turning 22 placements, annualization of the reduction taken in the Community Residential Account in FY04, as well as a reduction of $1.2 million for clinical team services that this account had funded for approximately 2400 consumers.

5920-2010 Community State Operated - $112,842,180
The Community State Operated account includes an increase to fund increased employee payroll expenses for FY05.

5920- 2020 Boulet Settlement - $70,000,000
House 1 recommends full funding for the Boulet account in FY05.

5920-2025 Day Services - $97,039,278
The House 1 recommendation for the Day Services account includes a $12.1 million reduction. This reduction targets day and supported employment services that are state-funded only and therefore subject to appropriation. It includes a $6.1 million reduction to state-funded day services and $6 million reduction to supported employment services. A total of 798 individuals will lose services as a result of this reduction. These individuals will have to remain at home with or without caregivers support, which may put them at risk. In addition, these individuals may require more costly residential supports if the loss of the day and/or supported employment services results in the families not being able to properly care for their family member. Individuals are also at risk of losing skills that have been gained in these programs and will not have a means to make productive use of their time during weekdays. Those engaged in employment supports programs will not be able to continue on a path to secure employment. The House 1 recommendation does include $2.72 million of annualization to continue serving the FY04 Turning 22 individuals.

5920-3000 Family Support/Respite Services - $48,160,000
The Family Support/Respite Services account is fully funded for FY05 in the $48.16 million House 1 recommendation. It includes $1.36 million of annualization to continue serving the FY04 Turning 22 individuals.

5920-5000 Turning 22 - $6,467,670
House 1 recommends level funding for the new Turning 22 placements in FY05 and will allow the Department to make all FY05 placements.

5930-1000 Facilities - $160,220,259
House 1 reduces the Facility account by $5 million for FY05. The Department will attempt to manage this reduction through a variety of mechanisms including consolidation of buildings or units within buildings on its campuses as well as making transfers across the facilities combined with community placements. The reduction will occur in a manner that will assure continued Title XIX compliance and compliance with the Ricci Final Court Order.

5982-1000 Templeton - $100,000
This retained revenue account is level funded for FY05 and will allow the Department to continue selling milk. The funds are used to maintain the farm equipment at Templeton.

ArcMass Distinguished Citizen Awards

On December 9, 2003, ArcMass honored 14 individuals and organizations at the 2003 Distinguished Citizens Award Ceremony at State House in Boston.

Joe Shortsleeve, news anchor for WBZ-TV, Channel 4 served as host of the ceremony. This event recognizes individuals and groups that have made a significant contribution to people with developmental disabilities.

This year's winners include: Marilyn Abel and Judith Goldner for providing musical experiences for persons with disabilities; Juanita P. Benson and Marcia Cote for dedication and commitment to persons with disabilities; Katherine Craven for disability advocacy; Daniel P. D'Onfro for commitment to developing youth opportunities; Robert Ellingham for personal achievement and leadership; Bernard J. Haan for leadership in developing and supporting innovative programs; and Houghton Chemical Corporation for providing employment opportunities.

Also, Joshua Kraft for leadership in expanding recreational opportunities; Representative Paul Kujawski for leadership in addressing disability issues; Stephan Lockney and Mary-Ellen Rogers for developing youth summer programs; Jay Nothnagle for personal achievement and leadership; Donald Stewart for leadership in addressing disability issues; Wellesley Congregational Church for commitment to the dignity and welfare of persons with disabilities; and Sharon Williams for dedication to inclusive education.

Accessible Winter Carnival to be Held February 8th

The Universal Access Program will hold an Accessible Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 8th at the Dunn State Park in central Massachusetts. Activities throughout the day will include cross-country skiing, snowmobile rides, sled skating and sled hockey, indoor activities, a snow sculpture contest and a funny hat contest. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. In the event of inclement weather, the Carnival will be moved to February 15th. For an update on program status, call 617-626-1294.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.