#AdvocacyMatters: Small Victories, Senate Strides

May 5, 2023 / #AdvocacyMatters

Through the effort of our entire disabled community of advocates here in Ohio - we have seen some real victories. Because of you, the House passed budget has included historic investments like:

  • Raising average wages for direct care workers to $17 an hour in 2024 and $18 an hour in 2025;
  • Increased funding for centers for independent living;
  • New funding for support service professionals for DeafBlind Ohioans;
  • Increased state investments for vocational rehabilitation services drawing and the entire federal match
  • Reducing the age cap for Medicaid buy-in for workers with disabilities.

While these highlights as passed by the Ohio House last week show significant progress, more needs to be done to ensure disabled Ohioans can live independently in their homes and communities. Although direct care wages have been increased in the House, additional funding for direct care wages to hit $20/hour are needed along with rate increases for nursing. Additionally, modifications to the language around appointments for eligible individuals to county boards of disabilities needs changed to ensure greater representation of disabled folk at the decision-making table.

In the Senate, you still have time to testify. On May 11th, the Senate Medicaid Committee is planning on accepting testimony. Even though the dates are unconfirmed, we anticipate the Senate Health Committee will be accepting public testimony on May 10th or 11th. Everything you need to know, including which Committee to write to, and how to submit testimony, can be found here: Testifying In The Senate 2023. If you need any additional help, you can email communications@disabilityrightsohio.org and we will do our best to help you in the process! We hope you will continue to use your voice to bring some sunshine to the Senate process for this year’s budget. #AdvocacyMatters

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