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THE IMPACT OF PROP 206  begins
JANUARY 1st, 2017!
 
Don’t Wait….now is the time to learn what you can do. 
 
 
 
Dear Coalition Members and Community Partners,
 
With minimum wage increases passing at the ballot, Proposition 206 (statewide) and Proposition 414 (Flagstaff), personnel related cost increases begin January 1st, 2017.   Without additional state funding, the impact of these propositions will be devastating  to both Providers and Families.  We have heard there are providers that will close, providers that will cut services, providers that will not expand, and providers that will move out of Flagstaff…..all directly affecting services for individuals with autism.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO ?

 1)  Come to our workshop on Wednesday, December 7th2:30-4:00 at the Ability 360 Center to learn how this impacts our community and what you can do to minimize losses.
 
Ann Monahan, President of the Arizona Autism Coalition, will address key points of the impact of Prop 206.  Click on this link to RSVP
 
 
2)  Write to the Governor requesting emergency funding of an increase in reimbursement rates for DDD Providers.
The Governor and his staff are working on their draft of the state budget as you read this.  We need to communicate to the Governor, the business impacts Prop. 206 and Prop 414 will have.   Write a letter to the Governor explaining your situation and the real impacts your company or family affected by autism will face without additional funding.
 
Here are the suggested talking points for a letter to the Governor.  

If you’re a Provider: 

The CEO and/or company owner should be writing this letter:

 
- Describe your company: My company has been in business for ____ years.  We serve ____ number of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and employ ______ staff in ______ Arizona (or statewide, a county, etc.)
 
- Describe your current situation: As you are likely aware, we have been experiencing a dramatic direct care workforce shortage for the last several years.  We have a _______ percent turnover rate, have ______ vacancies (open positions that have not yet been filled) at any given time, and pay _______ in overtime every year.
 
- Describe what Prop 206 (and Prop 414, if applicable) will do:  Without additional state funding, my company will be forced to no longer provide _______ service;  We are a multi-state company that can no longer afford to expand into AZ; We will be pulling out of Flagstaff; We will be closing.  We will close in 2018.  As a CEO, you will have to decide to do _____ in order to stay open. 
           
Describe the human impact:  You have never had to lay off staff, and now you will.  You worry about where the people you serve will go, especially those with no family supports.
 
- Ask for the Governor to include funding in his budget to address Prop. 206 and Prop. 414 along with the direct care workforce shortage:  Please include funding for services to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in your budget recommendations.  Without funding, critical services for this very vulnerable population will be gone.    Without funding above the minimum wage impacts, we will likely still face a direct care workforce shortage, in fact, it will probably get worse.
 
If you’re a family member, caregiver, or individual with autism:  
 
- Describe who you are and your loved one that receives services.  Describe your experience with turnover rates and limited availability of qualified providers.
 
- Describe what Prop 206 (and Prop 414, if applicable) will do:  Without additional state funding, my family will be left with limited options for providers and you worry about how your family will cope without support.  
 
- Ask for the Governor to include funding in his budget to address Prop. 206 and Prop. 414 along with the direct care workforce shortage:  Please include funding for services to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in your budget recommendations.  Without funding, critical services for this very vulnerable population will be gone.    Without funding above the minimum wage impacts, we will likely still face a direct care workforce shortage, in fact, it will probably get worse.
 
Other Key Points You Can Work In or Use as Needed:

- Caring for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities requires patience, compassion, passion and skill - like any skilled profession, it’s not for everyone.  As a result, providers for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and families value the care provided by direct care professionals entrusted to work with members on a daily basis.
 
- Turn over rates are as high as 80%, as the pay for direct care professionals is typically less than a host of retail jobs that are less stressful.
 
- Since 2009, provider reimbursement rates have not been adequate to cover the costs of providing services, averaging approximately 26% below the appropriate reimbursement amount, as demonstrated by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
 
- Throughout the industry, providers want and need to pay direct care professionals more in order to improve the retention and recruitment efforts of quality workers.  However, increasing the minimum wage, without corresponding increases in state funding, will only make the situation worse, as providers are unable to absorb the cost of increased wages.
 
- Given the personal nature of providing care to individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, consistency in staffing creates trust for the individual receiving care and peace of mind for the family.  If providers cannot sustain the additional pressure on employment costs, the state is in jeopardy of losing the network that is relied upon to serve this vulnerable population. 
 
- If providers are forced to reduce or eliminate services and programs — or simply have to close their doors for good, this circumstance will cause families to look for new programs and living situations, triggering unnecessary stress and anxiety for both members and families, alike.  Rural residents will be among the most severely impacted, as families would likely need to consider relocating to urban areas, away from the natural support systems of other family and friends.
 
Once ready, please click the following link to send a note to the Governor:
http://azgovernor.gov/engage/form/contact-governor-ducey
 
1.  Choose “I am making a comment”
 
2.  Fill out the contact information requested.
 
3.  Choose “Budget” as your subject”
 
4.  Copy and paste your comments/letter into the comments box.
 
5.  Click “I’m not a robot” and then “send email.”
 
6.  The Coalition, in Partnership with AAPPD, would like to share your letters that you submit to others, like legislators, staff and state agencies.  If you are comfortable, please provide a .pdf of the letter to Brandy (brandy@goodmanschwartz.com) and Mary (
mary@azautism.org). 

If you are not comfortable submitting your comments electronically and wish to mail a hard copy version of your letter, the letter should be addressed as follows:
 
The Honorable Doug Ducey
Office of the Governor
State of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
 
3)  Contact the media with how this impacts you.
 
We need many providers, families, direct care workers and self-advocates available to talk to media around the state about what will happen to them if state funding is not increased. 
 
Rachelle Hadland and Brandy Petrone of Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities (AAPPD) have graciously offered to assist Coalition members with media and governor correspondence.  Please email Rachelle (rachelle@goodmanschwartz.com) and/or Brandy 
(brandy@goodmanschwartz.com) to let them know about your willingness to speak to the media about your story and/or whether you have families and DCWs that would be great at telling their stories/concerns as well.
 
 
Thank you for your assistance with this issue.  
 
We hope to see you on December 7th at the Coalition’s Workshop—"The Impact of Prop 206 & Minimum Wage Increase!"
 
Warm Regards,
The Arizona Autism Coalition Board 
 
Ann Monahan, Board President
Diedra Freedman, Board Treasurer/Secretary
Barbara Brent, Board Member
Bryan Davey, Board Member
Elizabeth Rinaldo, Board Member 
 




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Arizona Autism Coalition
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