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Lansing, MI 48910-1652
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Friday Mail

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February 5, 2016

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News Items

Opportunities for Comments and Involvement

MDHHS Seeking approval from (CMS) for a §1115 Demonstration Waiver:   

Please provide input by 2/2/2016


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is seeking approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a §1115 Demonstration Waiver to combine under a single waiver authority all services and eligible populations served through its  §1915(b) and its multiple § 1915(c) waivers. The attached numbered letter (L15-71) (pdf) from Chris Priest was sent to Community Mental Health Services Programs, Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans and other Interested Parties. 


See attached HCBS Comments Letter signed by Dohn Hoyle, Director of Public Policy and Sherri Boyd, Arc Michigan Executive Director.  top

State of the State Address 2016 from RWC Advocacy

Governor Snyder delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday and, as anticipated, the address focused largely on the Flint water crisis. The Governor announced that he will release all of his 2014 and 2015 emails, and announced that he has requested almost $30 million in supplemental funding to address the crisis. The Governor also announced his continued focus on Detroit Public Schools.  Below is a link to further information about the Governor’s address.,4668,7-277--373938--,00.html 

Public Policy Action Alerts from Michigan Nonprofit Association

● The Treasury Department and IRS have announced that they are withdrawing the proposed Gift Substantiation regulation that the nonprofit sector worked so hard to defeat.

The proposed regulations would have permitted, but not required, charitable nonprofits to file a new, separate information return with the IRS (in addition to the Form 990) by February 28 every year to substantiate contributions of more than $250 in value. A new informational tax return (“Donee Report”) would have required the nonprofit using it to collect the donor’s name, address, and Social Security number (SSNs) or other taxpayer identification number and also provide a copy to each donor.


Advocacy Victory - President Signs Tax Bill Making Charitable Giving Incentives Permanent

On Friday, December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 or PATH Act (HR 2029), permanently extending three charitable giving incentives: the IRA rollover, the enhanced deduction for donations of food inventories, and the enhanced deduction for conservation easements.  top

January Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Report from RWC Advocacy

The January Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference took place Jan. 14. At the conference, officials agreed that Michigan’s economy continues to grow but at a slower pace than in recent years.

Combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue for the current fiscal year is now estimated at $194 million over last year (although that is a downward revision from last May’s projection).

For the coming fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2016-2017), combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue is projected to be $725 million over last year (again, revised downward from last May by $20 million). In addition, there is $575 million in “one time” funds, including lapsed monies from last year, estimated for the coming fiscal year.

These revenue estimates will be used by Governor Snyder to complete his budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, scheduled for release on February 10.

A mid-year budget adjustment to address the Flint water crisis is expected in the near future.

Michigan has released the RFP for the ABLE account administration
The ABLE RFP #007116B0006686 has been posted to the Buy4Michigan website. The  program is expected to be up and running by Mid-summer 2016. Please send any questions you have regarding ABLE accounts to   top

Stop federal contractors from profiteering off people with disabilities!


The AbilityOne® program is mandated to award federal contracts to employ people with disabilities. Last year those contracts totaled $2.8 billion. However, some of those contractors are not hiring enough people with significant disabilities to comply with their federal mandates, or, when they do, contractors are paying some disabled workers sub-minimum wages and overwhelmingly employing them in segregated environments – all while they rake in tens of millions of federal dollars for their executives.

Investigations by federal agencies and news media have alleged massive corruption in the AbilityOne program. According to sources who spoke with CNN, it’s “one of the worst cases of fraud and mismanagement they’ve ever seen in a federal agency.” Read more here and sign petition  top

The Arc Michigan is participating in the Arc Vehicle Donation Program

Are you shopping for a new vehicle to replace your older car, truck, motor cycle, or RV? Please consider donating your vehicle, regardless of the condition, to the Arc Michigan Vehicle Donation Program. You will receive a tax deduction and free towing. For more information call 1.877.272.2270 or click here for more information.   top

MI Health Link Ombudsman Program Opens Dec. 1st

The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI) and our partners at the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line (CALL) are pleased to announce that the MI Health Link Ombudsman Program will open on December 1. Our toll-free hotline is: 888-746-6456. The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Inquiries may also be directed to


As many of you know, MI Health Link is a demonstration project for people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare in four regions of the state (Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Macomb, St. Joseph, Van Buren, Wayne or any county in the Upper Peninsula). Most enrollees were passively enrolled into the program earlier this year.  Read more here (pdf). top

Employment First in Michigan: Executive Order 2015-15

From RWC Advocacy

State departments and agencies that provide services and support to those with disabilities as well as economic development and employment services will adopt the Employment First model that emphasizes competitive employment in an integrated setting for persons with disabilities under an executive order signed Wednesday by Lt. Governor Brian Calley.

"Employment First encourages workplace diversity and enhances economic development while further designating Michigan as an equal opportunity state," Mr. Calley said in a statement. "Michiganders with all abilities deserve to live independent, self-determined lives. The ability to work leads to enhanced social interaction, community involvement and economic independence, and a sense of pride that all people desire."
The executive order (EO 2015-15) also requires departments and agencies to share data to track progress on the issue. The State Rehabilitation Council will oversee implementation.

The Great Lakes ADA Center Seeking Survey Participants

The center would like to invite you to participate in a national survey titled, "Transportation Access and Experiences", which is designed to improve understanding of accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. This survey is being conducted by the ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC).


This project focuses on community living, community participation & work/economic participation
disparities of people with disabilities. We are very interested in receiving as many responses as possible from people with disabilities based on their personal experiences with public transportation. For more information, visit website:

The survey is located at   top

Uninsured population shrinks in Michigan, and 8 more points on health-care coverage


The number of Michigan residents with health insurance grew by a quarter million during the first year of Obamacare, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey estimates that 8,961,893, or 91.5 percent of Michigan residents, had health-care coverage in 2014. That's 249,000 more than in 2013, when 89 percent of Michiganders were insured. Read more here.

Gov. Rick Snyder forms task force to recommend changes in Michigan's special education system Friday, Oct. 16, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the creation of a task force led by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley that will recommend reforms for Michigan’s special education system to help special needs children reach their full potential.

The task force will develop policy recommendations to address the key findings of Calley's recent statewide special education listening tour that led to a formal presentation to the State Board of Education. The complete report and survey results are available to download here.    

The Arc Michigan Guide to the Use of Powers of Attorney

The Arc Michigan has prepared a Guide to the Use of Medical Powers of Attorney (pdf) to provide guidance on the use of medical powers of attorney, clarification on the difference between medical powers of attorney and patient advocate designation and describe other types of forms that can be used. Sample forms are included. top

Michigan Alliance for Families DVD “Making the Most of Early On®”  "Making the Most of Earlyon" is designed to help parents better understand and access the system of supports and services for children from birth through age three.
This video is chaptered into six easy to navigate topics:

  • What is Early On?

  • Parent to Parent Advice

  • Natural Environments

  • Problem Solving

  • Transition: Leaving Early On

  • Parent Survey

Each topic includes options for Spanish subtitles, Arabic subtitles, and English closed caption. In addition to the DVD, parents can find more early intervention resources at:

Parents and professionals can view the videos via the Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel  at

A limited quantity of DVDs is available.

“Making the Most of Early On®” was produced through an IDEA grant awarded by the Michigan

Department of Education to Michigan Alliance for Families.

Michigan Alliance for Families' upcoming workshops can be viewed at:  Upcoming and archived Webinars can be viewed at:

Check out our new brochure (pdf)        top

Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

This video documents this regretful history and celebrates the hard work of families and advocates with the final closure of our last institution in Michigan in 2010.  top

The White House Disability Group E-mail Distribution List
In order to keep the public informed about various disability issues the White House has been hosting monthly calls. To learn about future calls, request to be added to the White House Disability email distribution list, by visiting the White House website.

These calls are open to the public and offer a unique opportunity to hear about important disability issues from individuals who work in the Federal government. You can also submit questions before the call at                              



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