PAR Thanks Governor Wolf & Lawmakers for Protecting Individuals with
ID/A & Direct Support Professionals

House Bill 2501 Provide $260 Million in Emergency COVID-19 Relief Funding

HARRISBURG (MAY 29, 2020) – Leaders of Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability joined Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disability or Autism (ID/A) and their families today in thanking Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania lawmakers for providing desperately needed COVID-19 relief funding.

“The Governor and lawmakers in both chambers have lifted the lives of tens of thousands of our state’s most vulnerable individuals, as well as the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who provide the lifesaving care to individuals with ID/A,” said Mark Davis, PAR President and CEO. “Our members and the families they serve are enormously grateful.”

“This legislation will help save lives,” Davis added.

Governor Wolf today signed House Bill 2501 into law, a measure that enables the Commonwealth to spend the funding made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The new law provides approximately $260 million in funds to support 50,000 individuals with ID/A in the commonwealth.

Davis noted the devastating impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on providers, DSPs, and families. Providers have been running desperately low on Personal Protective Equipment; cash to purchase food and other goods for families; and DSPs to meet the growing demand for services. “We are grateful for the support of Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania legislature. Some providers were borrowing money to pay the bills and keep their doors open. Our concern was that the community-based system we have worked so hard to develop was going to collapse,” Davis said. “We do not want to ever, ever be compelled to send individuals with ID/A back to an institution, hospital or nursing home. This funding will help maintain our community-based services.”