Policy Spotlight

July 2020

In this week's Pinch of Policy we spotlight the fourth federal COVID-19 relief package (COVID 4). Unlike previous COVID packages, this package lacks bipartisan support. The House package is likely to look very different from the Senate package. For these reasons, educating our senators and representatives about #WhatWeNeed and the importance of this package for the disability community is essential. The good news is that our senator, Robert P. Casey supports increased funding for UCEDDs in this package!

What are some key points being proposed in the COVID 4 package?

  • Minimum of $30 million dollars of dedicated financial support to assist the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Network in responding to COVID. UCEDDs, Protection & Advocacy Agencies and Developmental Disabilities Councils in each state make up our DD Network.
  • Guidance to help ensure that funds are used to assist the DD Act agencies in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities. For example, directing that funds be used to increase access to technology and access to home and community based services (HCBS).
  • Dedicated HCBS funding to keep people with disabilities living in the community and out of congregate settings.

What can I do to support the COVID 4 package?

  • Send Jamie an email at Jamie.ray-leonetti@temple.edu and share three or four sentences about important work that the Institute has been doing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Pennsylvanians with disabilities. We plan to share this work with our Congressional delegation this month.
  • Call your U.S. senators from PA, Senator Bob Casey and Senator Pat Toomey, and share a personal story about why dedicated HCBS funding in the next COVID relief package is so important to you or someone you support.

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