Tuesday, February 22, 2022

DC Council Performance Hearings and Changes at Quality Trust

DC is moving into budget season (fiscal year 2023), and throughout this month there are performance reviews in the DC council on various government agencies.  On February 10 the Committee on Human Services held its performance review hearing on the Department on Disability Services and the Office of Disability Rights.  The video of that hearing can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=460507378994455.  Testimony by DDS director Andy Reese, followed by Q and As, starts about 2 hours and 45 minutes into the video.  (Note:  You’ll hear me discuss customized employment, the need for DDS and providers to adapt to changing demographics and soon-to-change eligibility requirements, and discriminatory Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortly before, at 2 hours 22 minutes.)  Tomorrow, February 23, is the performance review for the Department of Health (DC Health), where, among other topics, you’ll hear more about the impact of discriminatory quarantine requirements for people with disabilities (https://dccouncil.us/event/performance-oversight-hearing-committee-on-health-13/).  The Committee on Health will also soon hold its performance review of the powerful Department of Health Care Finance, which oversees Medicaid-related issues including waivers affecting people with disabilities.

Besides performance reviews, the DC council is scheduled to hold its second and final reading of B24-0268, the Developmental Disability Eligibility Reform Amendment Act, on March 1.  As I mentioned in my most recent post, https://www.ddinwdc.com/2022/02/an-eventful-week-on-dc-disability-front.html, at the bill’s first reading the DC council vote was unanimous in favor, so this bill looks certain to pass the council.  But again, there are further steps before the bill becomes law, so keep an eye on this:  https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B24-0268.

On a different subject – I rotated off the board of the Quality Trust (https://www.dcqualitytrust.org/) at the end of December, but I still keep a close eye on developments there.  In that regard, it was wonderful to see QT’s newly arrived legal director, Sam Crane, last week, as she replaces the irreplaceable (!) Morgan Whitlatch.  Another big change in the offing will be the arrival of CEO Tina Campanella’s replacement, Shawn Ullman (https://www.dcqualitytrust.org/our-blog/).  As founding CEO, Tina will be sorely missed.  Still, QT will be in good hands and continue its essential work in our community!

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