The following is an action alert from the New York Association on Independent Living and the National Council on Independent Living.
President Obama’s FY16 budget was released today, and it includes a request for $111 million for the Independent Living Program. This is a $5 million increase over the FY15 enacted level, and it is the first time in many years that such a request has been made.
NCIL has been pushing Congress and the administration to invest an additional $200 million in the Independent Living Program. While we are happy to see the president’s budget requests an increase, it certainly does not go far enough. Furthermore, the president’s budget is only a request, and these increases need to make their way into the House and Senate budget resolutions, as well. For this to happen, Congress needs to hear from you!
TAKE ACTION: Call or visit your senators and representatives and ask them to increase funding to the Independent Living Program by an additional $200 million in the FY16 budget. Help them to better understand how vital the Independent Living Program is to their constituents around the country.
You can locate your representative here.
Additional information: The president’s budget intends to strengthen middle class economics, and the administration has acknowledged that Americans with disabilities must share in the nation’s economic prosperity. The White House has released a fact sheet entitled Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities (PDF) that outlines how the president’s budget works toward that. In addition to the Independent Living Program funding increase, there are specific focuses on extending the Money Follows the Person rebalancing demonstration and expanding eligibility for the Community First Choice and 1915 (I) HCBS state plan options. Additionally, the budget addresses transition for youth with disabilities, improvements to the VR system, access to HCBS long-term services and supports through ADRCs, HUD Section 811 expansion, and new transit investments.