Kochmar pushes for more access to community respite beds in House supplemental budget

The state House unanimously approved an amendment to the House supplemental operating budget Thursday that will add more funds to community-based respite beds. Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, sponsored the amendment.

“In my district and in communities throughout Washington state, there is a significant demand for more community-based respite,” said Kochmar. “Individuals with developmental disabilities and self-advocates have been clear that they need more inclusive respite services, and options like residential habilitation centers can be too isolated and traumatic.”

The amendment would provide the Developmental Disabilities Administration with a total of $941,000 for the development and implementation of community respite beds. On average, RHCs can cost as much as twice more than community-based respite.

“The federal Olmstead decision ensures that individuals with disabilities receive integrated community-based services free from segregation and isolation,” added Kochmar. “It is critical we fund respite in communities, so individuals don’t have to travel long distances to access beds and services.”

In the 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregating individuals with disabilities violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The House passed the supplemental operating budget on a 50-47 vote. The bill now advances to the Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Linda Kochmar discusses her amendment to help individuals with developmental disabilities during the House floor debate on the 2016 supplemental operating budget.

PHOTO: Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, speaks to her amendment that would  add more funds to community-based respite beds on the House floor Feb. 25, 2016.

For more information about Rep. Kochmar, visit: www.representativelindakochmar.com.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
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