Last week LB 376 The Family Support Waiver was filibustered in part on the urging of Governor Ricketts. This bill would have helped 850 children with intellectual and developmental disabilities be taken off the Developmental Disabilities Wait List with over 3000 people waiting for services 6-8 years. This waiver was designed in a well-researched targeted way to help make sure the state would significantly improve its cost-efficiency and get more children the services they actually need.
The Arc of Nebraska has been working for over 60 years to ensure that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities can live in the community. Previously, the status quo was that people were forcefully segregated into isolation in institutions. Now 2,332 people qualify for services under the developmental disabilities services waiver but are not receiving funding. They instead have been forced onto a waiting list that could require them to wait for years to access vital services.
Over a decade ago the LR 156 report said, “Nebraska is at a crossroads with its obligation to Nebraska citizens with developmental disabilities. Several Nebraska Senators have recognized the urgent need to develop a strategic plan to address the current and future needs of citizens with DD and their families.” It seems that we have still failed to take the sort of serious action needed to help people with disabilities. It’s time to ensure that we fully fund the waiting list.
(Sign Petition Below)
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We, the people of Nebraska, believe that our legal, ethical, and moral duty is to ensure that people with disabilities are properly served. Too long have our good neighbors struggled to care for their children, siblings, church members, employees, friends, and community members due to improper funding of the Developmental Disabilities Services Waiver. We, as Nebraskans, want to ensure that people with disabilities receive the services they need in a thoughtful and comprehensive approach that allows them to live full lives in the community. Ensuring people with disabilities access to the services they need is our top priority, and as our representatives, we ask that you make it yours.
Therefore, we call on Governor Ricketts, Division of Developmental Disabilities Director Green, and the Senators who voted against LB 376 to:
1 Fully support and sign on to LR 239. Including attending hearings, responding to citizen feedback, and engaging in community conversations (including with people with disabilities, families, providers, and organizations that represent people with disabilities)
2 Come forward with policy alternatives in collaboration with disability community leaders to End the Wait List in 5 years.
3 Propose policy alternatives to ensure that we deal with the cracks in our system so that everyone with an intellectual or developmental disability can access the supports they need.
4 Spend a day with one of the families this would have affected to understand their struggle.
We must take action to provide full and proper funding to eliminate the waiting list.