May 5 Legislative Update: Things are moving fast!

It was a busy week at the Capitol and continues to be! With session wrapping up on May 12th, things are starting to move quickly.

The Budget Conference Committee convened and engaged in final negotiations between the House and the Senate. There were some key budget points that came out of the Conference Committee:

  • DD Provider Rates:
    • These were settled on roughly $58M General Revenue and  $113M in federal money. This should move rates up to a little over $16/hour for Direct Care Workers. However, it is important to remember that the amount appropriated is a TOTAL amount and does NOT dictate the hourly wage for a Direct Care Worker. It is believed that the amount appropriated will result in hourly wages of $16/hour.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Match
    • The VR match was restored by the Senate and remained after the Conference Committee negotiations. This restored $1.2 Million in the budget allows for us to get an additional $4.6 Million in federal funds. MODDC presented legislators with a letter explaining the benefit of this funding to youth and adult jobseekers with disabilities.

The final vote on the budget from both the House and the Senate has to be approved by 6pm today, Friday May 5th. Though there have been procedural delays threatening the budget being approved by this deadline, at the time of this email, it appears that the budget is on track to be approved by the deadline.

Once the budget is passed by the legislature, it still has to be approved by Governor Parson. He has until July to approve or provide line-item vetoes for the budget. This means that he can remove some of the items listed above. The budget updates provided in this email are not final until they are signed by the Governor.

Ticket to Work and Employment First

We have been providing updates throughout session for this legislation. The language for both Ticket to Work and Employment First has been added on to a number of bills. This happens at the end of session to “get it across the finish line.” As of the time of this email, SB 106 and SB 45 (both had language for Employment First and Ticket to Work) received final approval by the Senate!

These bills now go to the Governor for final approval and be signed into law. He can approve, veto, OR he can do nothing and the bill will go into effect. He has until July 14th to do one of these things.

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance in your advocacy, please email Leigh Anne Haun at