My 1 Million Row Challenge

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Need Help with This

Please call the Governor Ducey's Office at Phoenix: 602.542.4331 or
Tucson: 520.628.6580 or
write to:
Governor Ducey
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Arizona is on the verge of losing respite services for the disabled because of the increase in minimum wage. This was a November ballot issue that passed. 

Please ask our governor to increase funding or come up with a plan so families do not lose all their respite hours. Currently families receive a maximum of 600 hours of respite per year. Not all families receive the maximum number of hours. There is already one possible plan on his desk.

As a parent of a disabled child I can tell you that this is a vital help to all families. 25 years ago when all states cut back or eliminated the institutions for the disabled they promised the families that support services would always be available. If the funding issue is not resolved my greatest fear is that more parents will opt out of keeping their special needs children and adults at home because they will be just too burnt out to provide optimal care for their loved ones.

There are currently not enough beds to meet the states current needs. This care is also more costly than respite care. Agencies currently receive enough funding to cover about $9.00 per hour plus overhead. Without a change in funding for a $10.00 per hour wage, most would lose at least 25 cents per hour of respite care provided. Since most non-profits and for profit agencies cannot afford to lose money, they will eliminate respite services. This works out to a maximum $6,000, plus overhead, per special needs child or adult. Also being realistic it will cost at least $3,000 per month for residential care or at least $36,000 per year per special needs person not at home with family.

So it comes down to how much the governor wants to spend or save. Is it worth saving $30,000 per special needs person by increasing funding to $10.00 per hour plus overhead? Let the governor know how you feel.