The employees work for private agencies in group homes and day programs that receive state funding, with the majority of that coming from the state Department of Developmental Services. The strike vote is aimed at prodding the legislature to increase funding for these programs.
David Pickus, president of SEIU 1199 New England, appreciates the value of the care provided to the disabled by thousands of Connecticut workers. But he’s not sure state legislators do. He’ll be finding out in a few days, he says, when he meets with state officials to determine whether they can come to wage and program funding terms that will avert a strike tentatively scheduled for next month.
Insufficient services, a complex funding system and deep state budget cuts have increasingly stranded developmentally disabled children in hospital emergency departments over the past year, often for weeks at a time, two state advocates told legislators Thursday.
Acting Commissioner Jordan A. Scheff was named Friday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to lead a state Department of Developmental Services undergoing change as it looks to privatize group homes and continues to downsize the Southbury Training School.
Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Morna Murray plans to leave the job early next year — a time of significant changes for the department serving thousands of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
State employee unions plan to ask a judge to block the privatization of group homes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, saying the layoffs caused by those changes violate Connecticut law
Parents of intellectually disabled adults expected to be transferred from state-run group homes to private care reacted Tuesday with a mix of anger and appeals for compassion.
State officials Thursday announced plans to close by June 30 two state-run facilities that provide residential care for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The move was pegged as a “change in strategic direction” as the state looks to outsource those services to private providers to save money.
Founders’ Cottage, a Norwalk respite center that gives families who care for adult children with developmental disabilities an occasional break, is closing next month, and its loss taps into a deeper frustration over years of cuts to services and a shortage of residential placements for people with developmental disabilities.
The man whose new job was to provide the disabled with access to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy arrived at the State Capitol, a landmark constructed a century before passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to find the only elevator serving the governor’s office to be inoperable. That was 18 months ago. Bigger challenges lay ahead.
The governor’s proposed budget, with $25.5 million cuts to the safety net for people with severe mental illness and substance use problems will have a two-fold effect. No money will be saved, and dollars will shift from evidence-based treatment provided to people in their communities, to a variety of expensive and inappropriate alternatives, such as increased inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, incarceration, and nursing home placements.
Legislators are eyeing overtime costs at Southbury Training School as a way to save money in the tight budget for serving people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but officials at the agency that runs the institution say those savings are unlikely to be achieved.
Exactly four years ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was in Norwich for the fifth of 17 town-hall meetings to pitch Connecticut on the labor concessions and record tax increase he proposed to erase the nation’s largest per-capita state deficit. Today, he is vacationing in Puerto Rico. There is no tour this year to sell the public on his plan to resolve a smaller shortfall with business taxes and spending cuts that fall heavily on the poor, elderly and disabled.
Morna Murray, a social-services advocate and public-policy expert on the state and national level, was named Monday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as the next commissioner of the state Department of Developmental Services.
Armed with a court expert’s new recommendation to close Southbury Training School, several advocacy groups argued Connecticut unfairly spends too much of its limited resources on a small class of institutionalized disabled while ignoring thousands awaiting community-based care.