WV budget battle looms over disability waivers

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It’s been a big focus this year to help more people in the Mountain State who have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, known as I-D-D’s. Currently, there is a waitlist of one-thousand people to get services like health care, and 600 of them are kids. Governor Justice promised 20-million dollars more to eliminate the waitlist to help, but Senate Republicans are only offering 10 million:

“And we only gave an additional $10 million because we have concerns about whether it will actually eliminate the waitlist, to begin with. But it’s still a $10 million improvement over what it was previously,” said State Sen. Craig Blair, Chairman, (R) Berkeley – Finance Committee.

All told there will be a total of $100 million for I-D-D waivers if the Senate budget passes. Governor Justice promised to wipe out the list in this years State of the State Address. Right now, many Democrats are siding with the Republican Governor’s plan

“A lot of people were excited about the opportunity to get off that waitlist and get the services that the state provides through that program. And I think some of them are now going to be disappointed,” said State Sen. Corey Palumbo, (D) Kanawha – Minority Whip.

The House will also make a budget proposal for IDD waivers, but it appears all sides may be bracing for a fight.

“While the budget battle has reached a fever pitch, Governor Justice has now issued a statement saying that be will not sign a budget bill that will not fully fund his IDD waivers,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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