by Admin | July 14, 2021
The Legislature adjourned on June 30th at 4:54pm after having enacted a $12.8B budget including a significant tax cut. Here are a few legislative wins for our IDD community...
State Budget Summary
The budget includes $30 million specifically for provider rate increases. The funding being provided is broken up into two buckets: $15.4M in new state General Fund dollars to support an increase; and, a direction to the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to take an additional $15 million from their budget and use it for increases to reimbursement rates for services. This $30 million equals approximately $96 million in combined state and federal funds for reimbursement rate increases.
State Legislative Summary
Amongst other legislation, there were two bills we specifically wanted to highlight to you as legislative wins for our community.
SB 1458 speech-language pathologists; assistants, was passed with bi-partisan support and signed into law this session. This AAPPD bill allows for tele-supervision of speech-language pathology assistants by SLPs and modernizes the supervision requirements for SLPAs.
Arizona also made significant strides in the telehealth space with HB 2454 telehealth; health care providers; requirements. This telehealth omnibus specifically impacted IDD services by codifying the allowance for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy Professionals to provide services via telehealth.
Please Help Us Thank our Champions
AAPPD has many champions to thank for their hard work in getting $30 million in ongoing funding in the budget. We especially want to thank Senator Nancy Barto whose efforts secured the $30 million for provider rate increases in the budget - she never wavered in her support of the need for additional funding for IDD services. Sen. Barto also sponsored SB 1458.
If you would like to say thank you to Sen. Barto here is her contact information:
Facebook Handle: Nancy Barto - @NancyBarto2020
Twitter Handle: @NancyBarto
Personal emails to the legislators you have a relationship with or have been communicating with are always the most impactful. Please send thank you notes to those you've been in contact with.
If you want to send thank you emails or share on social media quickly, we have updated our AAPPD Action Center so that you can thank your legislators and our champions and spread the word. Click here to send a thank you email and click hereto visit our action center and share on social media.
Thank You to our members!
Thank you to all who participated in our advocacy efforts this session - your time and commitment made a difference and helped us secure these incredibly important funds.