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Advocacy Week

March 2-6, 2020

Advocacy Week Summary

Two Girls at Camp Merry HeartEasterseals New Jersey just held its first ever Advocacy Week during the week of March 2 through March 6, 2020. The overarching goal of this week was to translate the size and reach of Easterseals New Jersey into legislative influence and progress on our policy goals. We have held three leadership meetings, planned eight legislator visits to our Day Hab sites, and had 17 legislators join us during our Advocacy Day.

Our Impact:

Day Hab Funding:

Legislators expressed universal support for the Governor’s budget proposal for an additional $10 million in state funding to be matched by Medicaid.

DSP Funding:

S-1194, which will appropriate an additional $16.5 million for DSP wages passed the Senate 38-0. This is great progress for our DSPs, but we need to keep pushing on this legislation and our other issues as there is more work to do.

This bill must still be passed by the General Assembly and then signed by the Governor before these critically needed funds will be available for our hardworking DSPs. Please use the links below to send emails to your legislators on the DSP wage issue and the other matters we are advocating for.
Legislators, leaders and the majority offices also expressed universal commitment to keeping DSP funding proposed by the Governor in the final version of the budget.

ICMS Regulation:

Asm. Benson, our chief sponsor, is almost ready to reintroduce the bill. The other sponsors from last session are in place to back it once again. Also the two majority offices are behind us on this bill. We should be able to get this bill passed in 2020!

Issue #1:
Saving Day Habilitation

Saving Day Habilitation• The reimbursement rates for some individuals are insufficient to cover the cost of providing our program participants the care they deserve and that their families expect.

•  Easterseals New Jersey operates nine Day Habilitation centers serving about 500 adults with intellectual disabilities.

•  Our Day Habilitation programs have seen their funding slashed by about 20% since the transition to fee-for-service.

Day Habilitation Talking Points

Day Habiltation Briefing

FFS Oversite Board Preliminary Report

Easterseals New Jersey operates nine day centers throughout the state of New Jersey serving nearly 500 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These programs were recently shifted from a contract to a fee-for-service payment model. Unfortunately, the reimbursement rates in the new model do not adequately cover the cost of providing services.

Easterseals New Jersey is calling on our advocates to contact their legislators to let them know about this critical issue.

As a member of one of the following, please use the appropriate link to easily reach out:

Easterseals New Jerseey Day Habilitation Staff

Easterseals New Jersey General Staff

General Public

Issue #2:
ICMS Legislation

Integrated Case Management LegislationIntegrated Case Management Services (ICMS) has been operating under vague and unclear draft rules for decades

• Already legislation introduced in both chambers with a strong list of sponsors.

• Would require NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) to create regulatory structure for ICMS.

• Getting this bill passed in 2020 is an achievable goal!

Easterseals New Jersey Position Statement

ICMS Auditor Report

ICMS Issue Briefing

Easterseals New Jersey is encouraging our advocates to reach out to their members of the Legislature to support the ICMS regulation bill.

As a member of one of the following, please use the appropriate link to easily reach out:

Easterseals New Jersey ICMS Staff

Easterseals New Jersey General Staff

General Puplic

Issue #3
DSP Compensation

Direct Support ProfessionalsThe Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce is in crisis, much in part due to very low wages.

• DSP work is not minimum wage work, New Jersey’s DSPs deserve a living wage. None of what we do would be possible without our DSPs!

• We are urging the Governor and the Legislature to include funding for DSPs in the FY2021 budget And to index the DSP wage to the prevailing minimum wage

DSP Issue Briefing

As a member of one of the following, please complete the form in the action center to send an email to your legislators to let them know that NJ's DSPs throughout New Jersey deserve a living wage:

Easterseals New Jersey DSP Staff

Easterseals New Jersey General Staff

General Public

What We Can Accomplish?

Steve Sweeney Receives Award• Advocate for funding and policies that benefit our programs and program participants.

• Share our stories with those who have the power to help.

• Increase awareness of the Easterseals New Jersey mission.

Advocates Group Picture• Introduce yourself.

• Briefly explain why you advocate.

• Share your story, make it personal.

• Don’t be afraid to make your ask.

• Always Be Courteous.

• Thank legislator for their time

How to Get Involved:

Visit the Advocacy Action Center

Last updated: March 19, 2020

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