March 2, 2015 – After the session: Budget highlights

The 2015 session has come to a close, one day early.  The Governor now has an opportunity to review all bills that passed both the House and the Senate.  He will also have 30 days to review the budget amendments approved by both the House and the Senate.  In his review of legislative items, he has several choices:  He can approve the action or he can take no action at all.  In both of those situations, the bill becomes law. 

The Governor can also make suggested changes or he can veto a bill completely.  In both of those situations, the legislature meets in a reconvened session to either accept the Governor’s action or to override the action.

Typically, the Governor makes some suggested changes to the proposed budget amendments. 

The Budget Amendments include many items concerning services for people with disabilities, and removes some items that were of concern to the disability community.  Here are just a few items of note:

Proposed changes to consumer-directed employment including overtime pay, limiting employers of records to acting on behalf of only one individual, and limiting attendants to working for only one employer have all been eliminated.

There is funding for six new crisis intervention “drop off”  centers, and funding for three new PACT  (programs for assertive community treatment) teams.

There is no money added to the budget to keep additional Training Centers open

There is no funding for any additional waiver slots beyond the minimum required to satisfy the settlement agreement between the Commonwealth and the US Department of Justice.

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The mission of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia is, through zealous and effective advocacy and legal representation, to protect and advance the legal, human and civil rights of people with disabilities, to combat and prevent abuse, neglect and discrimination, and to promote independence, choice and self-determination by persons with disabilities. We are available to assist policy makers as they consider issues that affect persons with disabilities.