Ohio Budget Updates lisadanford July 21, 2023

Ohio Budget Updates

Ohio’s budget for fiscal years 2024-2025, recently signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, makes the largest investment in the history of Ohio’s developmental disabilities system. For several months we’ve worked alongside people and families, providers, and other partners to raise awareness about the need for these essential investments.

I’m pleased to share that, thanks to our collective efforts and support from DODD, Gov. DeWine, and legislators, an essential increase for Direct Support Professional (DSP) wages was included in the two-year state budget.

The state budget contained several items related to DD services, including the following:

  • Increased Waiver Rates to Support Higher DSP Wages: The current average DSP wage across the state is $13.76. Thanks to this budget, County Boards (including HCDDS) and the state will contribute enough funding to support increasing the average DSP wage to $18 per hour beginning 1/1/2024 and $19 per hour beginning 7/1/2024. More details about the implementation of this important investment in DSPs will be shared when it’s available.
  • Investment in Technology Support: $3.2 million per fiscal year will be dedicated to the Technology First initiative, which ensures technology is considered as part of all service and support plans for people with disabilities.
  • Investment in Youth with Complex Needs: The budget includes $5 million per year for better support for youth with complex needs.
  • Changes to the State Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System Requirements: The adopted policy acknowledges and supports the rights of individuals served by the P&A System to reside in and receive services from an intermediate care facility (ICF).
  • Board Member Representation: Included language will ensure at least one person with a developmental disability is appointed to each county board of DD.
  • Remote/Hybrid Participation for Board Members of County Boards of DD: This provision permits a certain number of board members to participate and vote in board meetings through video or other telecommunications platforms if the meeting is held in a hybrid format. Providing this flexibility is helpful to board members, all of whom are volunteering their time and many of whom have a developmental disability or are family members of someone with a disability.

We know people with DD and families often rely on the support of dedicated DSPs across Hamilton County. We’re grateful this budget recognizes the importance of DSPs and works to address the current workforce shortage.

We also know that making sure every person has the support they need will require long-term effort, creativity, further investment, and innovation, and we’re committed to being part of this important work in the future. 

Sincerely,

Leia Snyder

A graphic with a photo on the left side of HCDDS Superintendent Leia Snyder. She is smiling, has brown hair, and is wearing a yellow jacket and black shirt. The text on the right says from the superintendent and the HCDDS logo is above it.