The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council issued a statement Monday recognizing Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s decision to leave the funding for the iBudget Waiver and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities untouched.
“The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is pleased by Governor DeSantis’ decision to preserve funding for the iBudget Waiver through the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,” the council said. “The decision to support thousands of our most vulnerable citizens is not taken lightly in these unprecedented times.”
According to FDDC, the iBudget Waiver is a health insurance program that serves nearly 35,000 individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also stands as the only public health insurance program available to people with disabilities.
“The iBudget Waiver helps people get the care and support needed to live and work in their own homes and communities,” said the FDDCC. “It is the only program that prevents a person from having to live in an institution to get the care they need.”
The statement comes after DeSantis unveiled a slimmer budget Monday afternoon that hundreds of vetos aimed at balancing the state’s COVID-19 impacted pocketbook.
The FDDC noted that during the legislative session, council leaders urged the Governor to preserve the needed funding.
In a letter sent to DeSantis, the FDDC also requested pay increases for critical personal support staff that went unfulfilled.
“Although the Council is disappointed that pay increases were vetoed for critical personal support staff, a lifeline for health and safety for those living at home, we are grateful that the Governor and his staff kept APD whole,” the FDDC said, adding: “the funding set forth by today’s decision will allow for tremendous strides in assisting thousands of Floridians.”
The FDDC is an organization committed to “advocating and promoting programs, practices and innovative initiatives that enhance the independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination of individuals with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life,” their website reads.