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Connecticut State Budget Call to Action

May 26, 2017

Connecticut is experiencing a dire fiscal crisis resulting in declining revenue and threats to valuable programs that promote independent living. Critical funding decisions will be made in the next weeks for the two- year budget. Governor Malloy’s state budget proposals eliminate the full funding for the  five Independent Living Centers for the second consecutive year and the Community First Choice program.

Action needed today!
Make your voices heard by opposing the elimination of funding for the Independent Living Centers and Community First Choice program!

1) Call Governor Malloy’s office at (860) 566-4840 
  • Provide your name and address to the staff member that answers
  • Request the Governor preserve full state funding for the 5 Independent Living Centers in the amount of $528,680.00 and preserve funding for the Community First Choice program.
  • Emphasize both programs help to ensure individuals with MS can access key services and supports they need to live independently in the community
  • Provide your own comments as to why these services matter to you or others you may know affected by MS.
2) Call your state senator and representative at their Capitol offices
Confirm your members through this link
https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
  • Identify yourself as a constituent providing your name and address when you speak to your member or their staff
  • Request the Governor preserve full funding for the ILCs in the amount of $528,680.00 and preserve the Community First Choice program funding in the budget.
  • Emphasize both programs help ensure individuals with MS with disabilities can access the key services and supports they need to live independently in the community
  • Provide your own comments why these services matter to you or others you know affected by MS.
  • Request the staff member follow-up with you about your request.
Background
Every year the National MS Society advocates for sustained funding for key programs in the state budget. The latest revised state budget deficit is $2.3 billion (12%) in FY’18 and $2.8 billion (14%) in FY’19. The Independent Living Centers serving adults with disabilities offer a single point of entry to access services for individuals with disabilities. These centers reduce the need for nursing home services while increasing access to health care, community supports, recreation, transportation, and benefits counseling to promote greater independence.

The Community First Choice program, a Medicaid State Plan Option, which took effect in 2014-2015, provides personal care and home care services to individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. There are currently 1,000 participants enrolled in the program with 3,000 pending final approval. The Medicaid State Plan Option known as Community First Choice would no longer be available to individuals currently enrolled. Connecticut receives an enhanced federal Medicaid match of $.56 for every dollar spent for Community First Choice. Connecticut would lose these valuable dollars if the state funding was eliminated.
 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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