Introduced Version





SENATE RESOLUTION No. ___




DIGEST OF INTRODUCED RESOLUTION


     A SENATE RESOLUTION to encourage the President of the United States, the Indiana United States Congressional Delegation, and the Governor of the State of Indiana to make it a priority to advance the commitment to community integration and personal security for individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and other related conditions, by ensuring a stable, high quality, direct support workforce.



MEEKS




     , read first time and referred to Committee on








Introduced

Second Regular Session 114th General Assembly (2006)


SENATE RESOLUTION


     MADAM PRESIDENT:

    I offer the following resolution and move its adoption:

    A SENATE RESOLUTION to encourage the President of the United States, the Indiana United States Congressional Delegation, and the Governor of the State of Indiana to make it a priority to advance the commitment to community integration and personal security for individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and other related conditions, by ensuring a stable, high quality, direct support workforce.

    Whereas, there are more than 15,000 Indiana citizens with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities (hereinafter "qualifying individuals") that are receiving services and approximately 15,000 additional Indiana citizens waiting to receive these services;

    Whereas, qualifying individuals have substantial limitations on their functional capacities, including limitations in three or more of the areas of self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency, as well as the continuous need for individually planned and coordinated services;



    Whereas, for the past two decades, qualifying individuals and their families have increasingly expressed their desire to live and work in their communities;

    Whereas, the Supreme Court, in its Olmstead decision, affirmed the right of qualifying individuals to receive community-based services as an alternative to institutional care. Since this decision was handed down, the demand for community supports and services has grown rapidly as States continue to move more individuals from institutions into the community;

    Whereas, families and private providers that employ direct support professionals deliver the majority of supports and services for qualifying individuals in the community;

    Whereas, direct support professionals provide a wide range of supportive services on a day-to-day basis, including habilitation, health needs, personal care and hygiene, employment, transportation, recreation, housekeeping and other home management-related supports and services so that these individuals can live and work in their communities;

    Whereas, private providers and the individuals for whom they provide supports and services are in jeopardy as a result of the growing crisis in recruiting and retaining a direct support workforce;

    Whereas, providers of supports and services typically draw from a labor market that competes with other entry-level jobs that involve less physically and emotionally demanding work, and higher pay and other benefits. As a result, these direct support jobs are not currently competitive in today's labor market. Annually, the national industry turnover rates for direct support workers range from 40 to 75 percent;

    Whereas, this workforce shortage is the most significant barrier to implementing the Olmstead decision and undermines

the expansion of community integration as called for by President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, placing the community support infrastructure at risk; and

    Whereas, The Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities is committed to supporting the provision of safe and high-quality supports to qualifying individuals who benefit from community based services for the developmentally disabled through recognition of the quality of care provided by the direct support staff who deliver those services in community-based settings: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the

General Assembly of the State of Indiana:


    SECTION 1. That the Indiana Senate recognizes that building a stable, well-trained direct support workforce to provide supports and services to individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities is important in advancing Indiana's commitment to community integration for those individuals and to personal security for them and their families.
    SECTION 2. That the Indiana Senate seeks to encourage this by taking advantage of all resources, both federal and state, for developing and expanding career options and opportunities to meet this workforce crisis of direct support professionals in Indiana.
    SECTION 3. The Secretary of the Senate is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this Resolution to President George W. Bush, every member of the Indiana United States Congressional Delegation, and Governor Mitchell E. Daniels.