There is a lot going on in the world right now and it feels overwhelming! Amidst it all, our work is more important than ever and people are counting on us to stand up for the rights of people with I/DD and fight to protect funding for DD supports and services.
All state agencies, including the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, had to submit a list of potential budget cuts to address the projected shortfalls in state revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this was just an exercise, our representatives in the state legislature may use that information when considering statewide budget cuts that will be needed. In response to this, The Arc Oregon joined with several other DD organizations to send a letter of concern to the Governor and state legislators. Click here to read the letter.
Now, we are awaiting confirmation of a possible special session of the Oregon legislature to address the estimated $3 Billion shortfall for this biennium. In the meantime, legislators need to hear from professionals, families, and self-advocates about how these cuts will effect their lives and the lives of people they love and/or support. There is the potential for cuts to every DD service and support that is funded through the State, including residential and employment supports, family networks, education, and in-home services.
Please reach out to your representatives this week and encourage everyone you know to do the same! Phone calls, emails, and letters are all great ways to let legislators know why DD funding is so important.
Some tips for messaging:
- Share personal stories about how DD funding supports families and/or their loved ones.
- Be specific about how DD funded services and supports make a difference in your/their life.
- Explain how things might change in your life or the life of someone you support if funding is cut for a particular support or service.
- For additional tips, visit the Advocacy 101 page on our website.
Click here to: find your representatives.
In addition to your own house and senate representatives, encourage everyone you know to reach out to these key members of the legislature, as well as the Governor’s office and DHS.
- Sen. Lee Beyer
- Rep. Rob Nosse
- Sen. Bill Hansell
- Sen. Rob Wagner
- Rep. Cedric Hayden
- Rep. Andrea Salinas
- Rep. Sheri Schouten
- Rep. Duane Stark
- Governor’s Advisor Rosa Klein
- DHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, or if we can help in any way.