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News

State Officials Shift Burden to Private Donors

Picture of Steve Suroviec, President & CEO

By Steve Suroviec, President and CEO

In my message last month, I shared news that the General Assembly had cut funding from the already-insufficient state budget proposed by Governor Shapiro for Intellectual/Developmental Disability Services. While both the House and Senate passed an appropriations bill with the cut in it, the budget has not yet been presented to Governor Shapiro for his signature because the Senate technically must sign what it passed and, to date, the Senate leadership has not done so. According to reports, this is due to the Senate believing the governor reneged on a budget deal the two parties had struck. It’s not clear at this time when the matter will be resolved. The only positive news in this entire story is that, even though there is no state budget in place, disability service organizations like Achieva will continue to be paid for services rendered because the state can use federal Medicaid funds to reimburse providers.
 
It’s a sad commentary on the priorities of this governor and legislature. Non-profits like Achieva deliver home and community-based services to people with disabilities because the state has chosen it prefers to pay non-government entities to provide such services rather than having state-owned and operated facilities do it. While it’s the right thing to do, the state ought to back up its decision with sufficient funding. If the state wants a functional home and community-based service system, then it ought to appropriate sufficient funds and increase rates to ensure the system can meet the demand and operate at a high-level of quality.
 
Harrisburg’s priorities are, unfortunately, elsewhere. Another year of flat reimbursements from the state (in the face of record inflation in labor costs, fuel, housing, and employee health care benefits) means that charities like Achieva have to rely on private donations and fundraising even more. To that end, you can help Achieva with its resource needs by supporting the following:
  • Million Dollar Golf Outing – Achieva’s 25 annual golf event will be held September 18 at the Valley Brook Country Club. Proceeds will support Achieva and its charitable mission. Sponsors, golfers, and auction items are still being accepted!
Other fundraising efforts supporting services offered through The Achieva Family of Organizations include the following:
  • Labor Day Run For Autism.  The Gingerbread Man Running Company is organizing the Labor Day Half Marathon on September 4 that will benefit Achieva’s affiliate, Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, to support its advocacy mission. 
  • Erie Gives – This is the annual giving day sponsored by the Erie Community Foundation, which – on a prorated basis - match all donations given to eligible charities – Achieva’s affiliates The Arc Erie County & The Family Trust are eligible for donations during this online event.
  • The Buddy Walk – This event will take place at the Erie Sports Center (near I-90 and Peach Street) on September 10 from 1 - 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Achieva’s affiliate, The Arc Erie County, to assist with its advocacy and family support mission.
If you can’t make any of these events, or would just like to make a financial gift in support of Achieva’s mission, you can click here and do so easily online. Thank you for supporting Achieva’s charitable mission and providing the financial resources needed to deliver high-quality and innovative services – especially during times like this when our elected officials in Harrisburg won’t.
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