Statewide Developmental Disabilities Council Sets Legislative Priorities for 2020 Georgia General Assembly
January 21, 2020 (Georgia) – The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) officially released its 2020 legislative priorities to educate and inform state lawmakers on issues that affect Georgians with developmental disabilities.
The 2020 legislative priorities include: health and wellness, education, employment, Medicaid waivers, housing and budget. Specifically, the Council will work to educate lawmakers about the need for more Medicaid waivers, the state of the direct support professional workforce crisis, the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline and more. The complete list can be found on the GCDD website.
Overall, the public policy team has redirected its advocacy work to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are considered in all policy.
A big topic at hand is also the state budget. In August 2019, Governor Brian Kemp directed state agencies to propose massively impactful, six-percent cuts to their fiscal year 2021 budgets. The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) was tasked with finding areas to cut, totaling approximately $56 million; $1 million to each of the following developmental disability service areas: Marcus Autism Center, family support services and assistive technology and research.
Due to the proposed budget cuts, GCDD will be relying on strong advocacy skills throughout session. The Council will be hosting five Advocacy Days this year, starting late January to early March, to advocate for new policies that protect individuals with developmental disabilities.
On a federal level, there has been progress on a number of priorities for the disability community. With drug pricing, there is bipartisan support for reform, and disability advocates are trying to ensure that any proposed legislation both lowers cost and meets the needs of people with disabilities. Disability and aging groups have also been working on a bill to improve funding and infrastructure for disability employment, home and community-based housing and transportation and more.
For more information about policies on a state and national level, read GCDD’s Making A Difference Winter 2020 magazine.
To help raise awareness for policies for individuals with developmental disabilities and find your advocacy voice, sign up for the 2020 Advocacy Days.
About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities:
The mission of GCDD is to advance social change, public policy, and innovative practices that increase opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to thrive where they live, learn, work, play, and worship in Georgia’s communities. www.gcdd.org