Gov. Proposed Budget Includes Increased Funding
April 26, 2018
On March 13, 2018, Governor Murphy released his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019. With budget hearings underway in Trenton, we eagerly await the Legislature’s review.
We are encouraged by Governor Murphy’s prioritization of individuals with I/DD, including autism, as evidenced by the inclusion of funding for new services in Early Intervention, Children’s System of Care, and adult services.
Specifically, the proposed budget includes $8.5 Million of state funds to enhance services for Medicaid-eligible youth with autism. When incorporating a federal match, this $17 Million of funding is intended to help more than 10,000 New Jersey families by covering a range of behavioral and physical supports. Details about the type of supports covered have not yet been released.
On the adult side, the Governor has recommended a $19.8 million dollar increase in funding to assist adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities access home and community-based services. The state has increased funding in this area over the previous years, and we are happy to see Governor Murphy continue that trend. While conversion to a Fee-for-Service system and fluctuating enrollment data making year-to-year comparison difficult, funding for adult services remains generally stable. However, we will continue to advocate to ensure that the budget addresses a much-needed increase in wages for Direct Support Professionals.
Our public policy team continues to dig deeper into these budget numbers to clarify what impact the funding changes may have on children and adults with autism.
With the recent release of updated prevalence rates from the CDC indicating an increase in the incidence of autism from 1 in 41 to 1 in 34 in New Jersey (a 19% increase), the State’s fiscal commitment to the autism community must keep pace with the growing needs of individuals with autism.
For any questions, comments, or additional clarification on state budget, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.