Provider Rate Update: Ways to Advocate Throughout the Rest of Legislative Session
Imagine having to depend on another person for tasks such as getting into or out of bed, using the restroom, or getting a drink of water. Now, imagine that there was no way to access the help you needed for those very things. This is the reality that the provider rate crisis has created for people with disabilities.
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are an everyday part of the lives of many self-advocates. And, with care shortages impacting millions of Floridians, provider rate pay increases have been an almost universal legislative priority for the disability community during this year’s legislative session. However, according to Margaret Hooper, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, the Florida House and Senate don’t agree on how much to money to provide in the budget for this purpose. Right now, the leaders of the House and Senate are roughly $3 million apart on the amount of money that they are proposing to provide.
With this year’s Session more than half over, it is important that self-advocates around the state continue to make their voices heard on this issue. There are many different ways to do so, and we at Florida Self-Advocacy Central have a few suggestions, too.
1. Contact both the Speaker of the House and Senate President to tell them the importance of HBCS and providers to the lives of people with disabilities. Right now, these are the specific leaders who are trying to reach an agreement, so advocating to them is important!
2. Continue to advocate to your legislators and others as a whole. Here are a few resources.
3. Share the stories of others. There is power in numbers!
4. Share your story with the FDDC.