RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Make Appointments/Communicate With Legislators: 2011/12 ODP Rate Cuts
October 24, 2011

Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) waiver-funded providers experiencing significant rate cuts for fiscal year 2011/12 are encouraged to make appointments and personal visits to their local legislators to share the impact of these cuts on the services and supports for persons with intellectual disability.

Finding Legislators and Making Appointments
Contact information for state senators and representatives is available at www.legis.state.pa.us or linked from the PCPA Zipsticker. Make appointments with each legislator in areas where the agency provides services.  In most cases a phone call to the legislator’s office is sufficient to schedule a meeting.

Make the Most of Visits
Visits are most effective if they are framed by:

  • Educating legislators about your agency, services, populations served, and the provider’s role in his/her district;
  • Including families and consumers in visits to allow them to address how your services help in their daily lives and community living and the effect of having supports reduced or eliminated; and
  • Sharing how ODP funding cuts to agency rates will impact specific waiver-approved services and how this further affects the individual receiving services.

Position statements submitted to the Department of Public Welfare and ODP that were developed by the Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Coalition may provide additional information as you meet with legislators.

Areas to Address During Legislative Visits

  • Name, location, and types of services provided by the organization. Bring business cards and agency-specific materials. Mention all the counties where your agency provides services.
  • The number of consumers/persons your organization serves annually by type of service.
  • The number of staff employed by the agency. Remember that you are an employer and have salaries and other rising costs (e.g. health care). Be specific.
  • You are a business and purchaser of services. Understand the amount spent by the agency on utilities (e.g. vehicles, gasoline, phones, computers, furniture, food, postage, training, etc.) and make it clear to the legislator that your agency is vital to the community’s economy.
  • Legislators and staff need to hear from you about the impact of the state budget and funding on their constituents, both people in servicese and the impact of increased unemployment when staff is laid off due to funding cuts.

For more information contact either Linda Drummond or Anne Leisure.

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