Our View of the Legislature: Auxiliary Grants

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The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is available to educate policymakers about the implications of the decisions before them.  Please continue to check back here for updates as the session proceeds, and let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following.  Contact us at info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042.

We are following the two budget bills to track their impact on people with disabilities.  Of concern had been an item in the Senate budget bill relating to auxiliary grant awards.

When Senator Hanger announced a proposed 20% increase in the auxiliary grant awards, he stated that it would be for people in assisted living facilities.  This sounded similar to a bill proposed by Senator Dunnavant, SB 1185, which provided for an increase in the auxiliary grants, but only in large assisted living facilities.  SB 1185 was tabled in Senate Finance, but appeared to have been resurrected in the senate budget.

The auxiliary grant program provides supplemental funding to social security recipients who are living in assisted living facilities, adult foster care, or permanent supportive housing.  To increase the grant amount only in the large segregated setting of assistive living facilities, and not for the more integrated programs, like adult foster care and permanent supportive housing, dLCV stated, would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Fortunately, the Senate Budget proposal was not as limited as announced. Senator Favola asked the question on the Senate floor to publicly clarify that Item 353, 1s, would increase the auxiliary grant by 20% in all settings where the auxiliary grant in available, regardless of size.

The increase must be approved by both the Senate and the House to take effect.  We do not expect a final budget until much closer to the end of the session, February 27, 2021.

It is the mission of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia to advance independence, choice and self-determination; protect legal, human and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.