#AdvocacyMatters: Hanging in the Balance
January 29, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters
Every two years, the state of Ohio goes through an important, priority-altering task: setting the state’s budget. The budget process spans five months across both the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate before landing on the Governor’s desk for a signature at the end of June. For such a complex process, Disability Rights Ohio created an accessible flowchart that summarizes key steps to the budget process, available here.
The biennial budget decides funding for nearly all aspects of the state’s governmental functions, including key programs for people with disabilities like DD waivers, home care provider rates, and access to mental health services. With so many important programs hanging in the balance, oversight and advocacy is a crucial part of the process.
Now, amid a deadly pandemic and economic uncertainty, our budgetary advocacy will be even more crucial. In 2020, thousands of people living in nursing facilities died from COVID-19. Last year highlighted the importance of the right to receive community-based services. This is why DRO will be prioritizing home and community-based services (HCBS) in our budgetary advocacy.
With lives on the line, it was clear we’d need partners in our HCBS advocacy, so we helped create the Ohio HCBS Coalition. Now with nearly 90 partner organizations and self-advocates, the Coalition is in prime shape to advocate for the expansion of home and community-based services across Ohio.
To learn more about—or join—the Ohio HCBS Coalition, you can visit its website at www.ohiohcbscoalition.org. As we approach the beginning of Ohio’s biennial budget, we’re going to need all hands on deck to show how our #AdvocacyMatters.