ACTION ALERT from our State Chapter
The Arc of Virginia
Call Now – Your Words Matter.
Our Message to the VA General Assembly: “Invest in Community Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, Not Institutions” Action Alert: Please call your state Delegate and state Senator as soon as possiblewith the following message: “Invest in community services for Virginians with developmental disabilities, not institutions.” Once you have called your Delegate and Senator, please call members of the Budget Conference Committeewith the same message. If you need to leave a voicemail, please do so. These legislators are making decisions as we speak.
While Virginia has been making steady progress in its transition to a community-based system since entering into the DOJ Agreement in 2012, actions taken in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session indicate that the Commonwealth may be contemplating a step backwards.
On February 9, the House of Delegates passed a budget amendment that could potentially keep the Southwest Virginia Training Center (SWVTC) open, even though that institution is already scheduled to close June 30, 2018. Later that same day, the Senate voted to pass legislation that requires a plan to keep the Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) open. Keeping the Training Centers open would cost millions in unbudgeted operating and capital expenses. Meanwhile, 11,230 Virginians with developmental disabilities are on waiting lists for community-based services.
Now that the House and Senate have finished their work on their respective budget bills, a small group of legislators, known as “conferees” will negotiate the final budget bill. The conference committee has already begun working and will likely complete its work by early this week. This means we need to act NOW.
What Can You Do?
Call your state Senator and Delegate TODAY. Tell them to “Invest in community services for Virginians with developmental disabilities, not institutions.” Just clickhere then enter your name and address. Once you hit "submit," the site will provide the telephone number for your state legislators and potential talking points for your call. Please note- it is highly unlikely you will be talking with the legislator directly. You will simply be asking to leave a message for him/her.
Call the House/Senate Conferees. The House and Senate Conferees are listed below. When you call, share the same message: “Invest in community services for Virginians with developmental disabilities, not institutions.” Let them know that even if you are not a constituent, you are personally affected by this issue.
3. Plan to attend your state legislators’ town hall meetings. These may be occurring soon or could take place later this spring. Local town hall meetings are really important advocacy opportunities. If you don’t know when your legislators’ town hall meeting is, visit his/her website, follow him/her on social media or ask when you call the legislator’s office. Some legislators even have telephone town halls where constituents can call in with their concerns. For background information on training centers, waitlists, family cost sharing issues go to The Arc of Virginia’s Facebook page and our policy blog at http://www.thearcofva.org/blog/
As always, thank you for your advocacy.
Jamie Liban, Executive Director
The Arc of Virginia
Take Action Take Action to Prevent Gutting of The ACA and Medicaid from The Arc National
BREAKING NEWS - The House of Representatives is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and the ACA on February 27 and to begin committee work immediately.
Congress will be on its Presidents' Day recess next week. We've got lots of ways to help you make this time count! Below is our advocates' "To Do" list for the week of Feb 19-25.
Share our Latest Action Alert with Your Networks. Take Action to Prevent Gutting of The ACA and Medicaid includes separate fact sheets and talking points. Please share widely since Congress may vote on an ACA repeal measure as soon as the week after the President's Day recess!
Participate in our "#WeActWednesday" Social Media Campaign. The Arc has been sharing advocacy updates and resources on our Facebook and Twitter. Please share, like, and retweet on Wednesday!
Share Peter Berns' Huffington Post Article - Why You Should Care About Looming Medicaid Cuts - with your family, friends, and coworkers. This article published on February 14 breaks the issue down for the general public and advocates alike. Please share far and wide.