Reforming the SSLC System is Fair and Fiscally Responsible
As the 85th Legislative session nears, we hope you will consider the voices of Texans with disabilities and the impact State Supported Living Centers (SSLC) have on those who are waiting for services in the community. Tax payers cannot continue to fund an outdated, unpopular and expensive SSLC system. Please take action to improve the health, safety and quality of life for all Texans with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD), regardless of where they choose to live. Reforming the SSLC System is Fair and Fiscally Responsible As a Texan, I am proud that we take a conservative approach to how we spend our taxes, and hope the Legislature will take this approach next session and support reforming the SSLC system in Texas. Here are facts that support reform: •On average, you can support up to 6 individuals in the community for what we pay for one in an SSLC. •While the demand for SSLCs continues to shrink, the demand for services in the community steadily grows. Today, there are more than 110,000 individuals waiting for services. •The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) reported a 35% decrease in demand for SSLC services since 2008 and projected a 45% decrease by 2019. •Although significant declines in demand and number of SSLC residents continues, there has not been a corresponding decrease in overhead, infrastructure costs and facility locations. •Only 0.2% of Texans with an intellectual or developmental disability live in a SSLC, yet nearly 40% of the money used to fund services for people with disabilities goes to fund the SSLC system. Closure and consolidation is needed to allocate these limited resources fairly and responsibly. •According to DADS, it will cost $582,996,155 to fix all of the overdue maintenance projects at the 13 facilities. •According to the LBB it costs approximately $243,540 per individual per year to reside in an SSLC. The average cost for an individual in the Home and Community-based Services (HSC) waiver is $48,683.66. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am urging the Legislature to act and fix this broken system. It is not fiscally responsible to use our tax dollars to continue funding SSLC’s that have declining occupancy, require major repairs, and are no longer a cost effective option for services. I hope you will consider your constituents waiting for services in your district and support the consolidation and closure of some of the SSLCs with cost savings going to fund community services in your district. The long-term effects of thoughtful, compassionate reforms could result in more Texans with IDD receiving a better quality of service in all settings.
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