To cover growth in services like Medicaid and disability services, the DE Department of Health and Social Services is requesting a slight increase in funding for the next fiscal year. DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker indicated two funding priorities will be extending dental coverage through Medicaid to adults and raising direct support professionals’ wages.
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, says she anticipates a compromise with Republicans on the bill to reauthorize U.S. Department of Agriculture funding. One version of the bill adds stringent work requirements to the SNAP (food stamps) program, which led Democrats to oppose it. Blunt Rochester believes Republicans will be motivated to compromise to pass the bill before Democrats gain the House majority in January 2019.
The Delaware Department of Transportation won the 2018 Employer of the Year Award from the Council for Exceptional Children, a national organization dedicated to promoting career opportunities for young adults with disabilities. DelDOT had seven interns with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the 2017-2018 school year, several of whom were offered jobs at the end of their tenure. This year DelDOT will have 10 interns.
In a recently-published report, the Government Accountability Office found that about 80 percent of state vocational rehabilitation agencies have increased the number of transition-age youth with disabilities served since 2014. These results stem from provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act seeking to decrease employment in sheltered workshops. The report also noted, however, that confusing spending rules resulted in less spending than required by the act.