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As State Budget Deadline Nears, Will People With Disabilities Be A Bipartisan Priority?

Picture of Steve Suroviec, Achieva's President & EO
By Steve Suroviec, President & CEO

Governor Josh Shapiro’s State Fiscal Year 2024-25 Executive Budget proposed a significant boost in funding for home and community-based services for Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disabilities (IDA) and Autism. After years of underfunding, inflation was taking a serious toll on non-profit service providers like Achieva. Rates paid to these organizations by state government had only increased one time in seven years. During that same time, wage inflation had spiked, and inflation in critical areas of service provision such as food, fuel, and healthcare costs had been the highest in decades. So, Governor Shapiro’s IDA budget request in February has been welcome news. And, the governor didn’t just propose an increase, he is spending political capital going across the state to be sure his IDA budget garners appropriate support from the public. He deserves a lot of credit for doing both.


Now, the budget proposal is under consideration in the General Assembly. During last year’s deliberation on the governor’s budget, the House of Representatives cut funding from the IDA portion of the budget and the Senate went along with the cut. This year, both the House and the Senate have the opportunity to make it crystal clear that Pennsylvanians with IDA are a bipartisan priority – they can do this by adopting the governor’s IDA budget intact. Pass it without any cuts. Please!

Disability organizations like Achieva are counting on the rate increases that the state has already published in anticipation of the new funds being included in the final budget agreement. The rates take effect July 1, which is critically important to providers like Achieva as our Fiscal Year 2024-25 operations budgets start on July 1 as well. Hopefully, our elected officials in Harrisburg will see this issue as a bipartisan one, and won’t allow politics to get in the way of keeping the IDA budget whole and passing it on time. People with disabilities, their families, and their Direct Support Professionals are all counting on them to exhibit leadership and do what’s right.

If you would like to contact your elected officials in Harrisburg to support the IDA budget, visit Achieva’s Advocacy Action Center.

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