Preliminary State House and Senate Maps Approved by Redistricting Commission
The PA Redistricting Commission convened to vote on the pre-liminary state House and Senate Maps based off of the 2020 census data. The proposed State Senate map passed unanimously, and the proposed State House map passed 3-2. The public have 30 days to provide public comment on the map.
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will hold public hearings the approved maps. They are:
- January 6th at 3 pm and 6 pm; and
- January 7th at 9 am and 1 pm
The hearings will be held in-person at Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building in the Capitol Complex or can be participated in remotely. Those wishing to participate in-person or remotely can register on the commission’s website at: www.redistricting.state.pa.us. The reapportionment commission also is accepting public comment on the maps on its website until Jan. 16.
Governor Wolf Announces New Acting PA Secretary of State
Governor Tom Wolf today announced his intention to name Leigh M. Chapman to serve as Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth. Chapman will replace Acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid, who will be elevated to serve in the Administration as a special advisor to the governor. Chapman will serve as Acting Secretary beginning Saturday, January 8, 2022.
Read the press release here.
ODP Announces Proposed Increases to ID/A Waiver Cap Limits
ODP also proposes to increase the limits on the maximum dollar amount of Waiver services in Appendix C-4 as follows effective January 1, 2022:
- The current limit of $70,000 per person per fiscal year for Community Living Waiver services will be increased to $85,000. Supports Coordination services will continue to be excluded from this limit.
- The current limit of $33,000 per person per fiscal year for P/FDS Waiver services will be increased to $41,000. Supports Coordination and Supports Broker services will continue to be excluded from this limit. The limit can continue to be exceeded by $15,000 for Advanced Supported Employment or Supported Employment services.
The proposed increases will ensure that the proposed changes to the Fee Schedule Rates do not result in a reduction or loss of Waiver services for individuals.
House and Senate Announce Appropriation Hearing Dates
The PA House and Senate Appropriation Committees have announced their schedule of appropriation hearings for the different departments. They will be held in person and available to watch via livestream.
House of Representatives
- Dept. of Labor & Industry: March 2nd at 1 pm
- Dept. of Health: March 3rd at 10 am
- Dept. of Ed: March 7th at 10 am
- Dept. of Human Services: March 9th at 10 am
- Dept. of Human Services: March 8th at 10 am
- Dept. of Health: March 9th at 10 am
- Dept. of Education: March 10th at 10 am
- Dept. of Labor & Industry: March 15th at 10 am
PA Community on Transition Survey
The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is looking for stakeholder feedback to learn about how youth with disabilities across PA set goals and plan for adulthood. The two attached flyers - one for the youth survey, one for the adult survey – offer instructions on how to participate.
The survey response deadline is January 15, 2022.
OVR Announces Public Comment Open on VR Services Portion of the Combined PA State Plan 2 Year Modification
January 5, 2022 - February 4, 2022
The PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) has amended the draft to the 2-year modification of the 2020-2024 VR Services Portion of the Combined State Plan. A new 30-day public comment period will be opened from January 5, 2022 – February 4, 2022.
An additional public meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, from 11 a.m. – noon. During this meeting, OVR will review information in the recently amended 2-Year Modification to the VR Services Portion of the Combined State Plan. Following a summary presentation, the public will be invited the opportunity to provide comment on this plan. Anyone unable to attend the public meeting to provide comment can provide comment at ra-li- email@example.com.
To access the State Plan 2-Year Modification Draft, click HERE.
To register for the Zoom public meeting, register HERE.
Bilingual Assistance Offered for ARPA Stabilization Grant Applications
The Pennsylvania Key will host recurring office hours for Spanish speaking early childhood education providers interested in applying for the ARPA Stabilization grant. All types of child care settings–center, group and home-based–are invited to participate in this effort, geared to support Spanish speaking owners, directors and administrators. During the office hours, a bilingual (Spanish/English) representative will be available to translate on the call, as well as a Registry Specialist who can answer questions and provide demonstrations relating to the PA PD Registry and the ARPA Stabilization Grant.
The first series is Assistance with APRA Grant applications in the PD Registry (No registration needed)
In February 2022, monthly office hours will continue to occur in Spanish to help with Career Pathway level processing, financial aid for the CDA, and additional topics that meet the need of the Spanish speaking early childhood professionals in Pennsylvania.
Questions: Please email Alejoh@pakeys.org (English) or Reblam@pakeys.org (Spanish)
Early Childhood Education Credentials Consultant Request for Applications
Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) through its partnership with the Pennsylvania Key is seeking to contract with an individual to develop two, system-supported Early Childhood Education Credentials. This work will add two additional, system-supported options for child care staff to Pennsylvania’s Career Pathway-an alternative Level A ECE Competency Credential and an alternative Level B ECE Competency Credential. Interested applicants should submit information no later than Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, 4:00 p.m.
To learn more, click here.
Disability in the News
IRS Raises Limit for ABLE Accounts
"For the first time in four years, the amount of money that people with disabilities can save without jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits is rising.
Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service said that the federal gift tax exclusion is growing from $15,000 to $16,000 annually. That same cap also applies to contributions to ABLE accounts, a special savings vehicle for people with disabilities."
Read the article here.
Your View by Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senator: Home Care Bill Priority for 2022
"Caregiving services, often called home and community-based services, improve the lives of millions of seniors and people with disabilities, allowing them to live in their own homes and remain active in their communities. Yet historically, our nation viewed caregiving as a personal problem for each family to solve on its own."
Read the article here.
People with Intellectual Disabilities Deserve Access to COVID-19 Care
"The Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization of Mulnupiravir and Paxlovid to treat COVID-19 for people at high risk for severe disease brings great hope to the global community of people who are impacted by intellectual disability (IDD). As a result, it is critically important that health care providers make this life-saving treatment available immediately to people with intellectual disabilities that test positive for COVID-19 – and advocate for those individuals."
Read the article here.
Biden Administration Launches Housing and Services Resource Center for People with Disabilities
On December 8, the Health and Human Services Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a Housing and Services Recourse Center to help older adults and people with disabilities access federal resources and guidance on both housing and services that support community living, including Medicaid-funded home and community-based services, vouchers, and other programs.
You can see more information on the services available here.
Newly Crowned Miss America Puts Focus On Disabilities
"Broyles, a biomedical sciences major at Arizona State University and aspiring dermatologist, highlighted how women with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder like herself are often not diagnosed at all."
Read the full article here.