From Department of Developmental Disabilities “Pipeline”

State of the State & Budget Recap
Please join Director Hauck and DODD leadership on Zoom at 1:30 PM on February 10th for a virtual budget presentation.
ASL and C-Print captioning services will be provided.
Register here

State of the State
View the 2023 State of the State Address by Governor Mike DeWine here.

Governor DeWine’s State of the State Address and State Budget Proposal

Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine delivered the State of the State address and introduced a bold vision for Ohio’s future through his fiscal year 2024-2025 budget proposal.

Governor DeWine opened his address by saying “We meet at a time of great opportunity for Ohio and its citizens.” He continued “It is a budget that focuses on our people, on our families, and on our children, for they are Ohio’s greatest asset. It reflects our obligation to make sure every Ohioan has the tools to succeed, to get a good job, to live their dreams, whatever they may be.”

This budget represents the Governor’s vision for the next two years. The budget builds off previous commitments and prioritization in Ohio’s developmental disabilities system. In the next two years, the budget will invest a historic $701 million in support for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. Remarkably, this investment is almost double the Governor’s first budget, which was the largest increase in the history of the DD system. This increase is a strong signal of the Governor’s and Director Kim Hauck’s dedication to addressing the critical needs of the system and moving forward with initiatives to improve the lives of Ohioans with developmental disabilities, their families, and those who support them.

“I am thankful for Governor DeWine’s leadership and commitment to Ohioans with developmental disabilities that is so evident in this budget,” said Director Kim Hauck. She continued, “The budget reflects the voices of the DD community – the realities we heard through the workforce crisis taskforce, the stories I heard as I traveled to each county, and the collective advocacy and work we have done together.”

In his budget proposal, Governor DeWine announced the creation of a new state agency, the Ohio Department of Children and Youth. This new department will further elevate the work of supporting children and youth, promote the efficient and effective delivery of services, and ensure long-term stability for Ohio’s 2.5 million children and their families. Stakeholder input will be critical to this work, and a cross-agency team will work over the coming months to plan and implement a smooth transition for those we serve.

Budget investments for DODD focus on increasing wages for Direct Support Professionals and investing in innovative technology and support for youth with complex needs. Key highlights of Governor DeWine’s budget proposal include the following:

Investing in DSPs & Supporting Providers
The budget addresses the most pressing issue in our DD system: wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Ohio’s DD system has struggled to recruit, retain, and invest in this essential workforce. To meet this need, this budget invests an historic $579 million into provider rates for the primary purpose of increasing direct care wages to stabilize the workforce. This is the largest increase in the history of our system and adds to Governor DeWine’s first budget which invested $308 million into these rates. These historic funds are a path to right-sizing wages and ensure that we have an essential workforce for people with disabilities. Rates in the budget that are outlined below are intended to be used by providers to increase the wage and compensation of their direct care staff.

Home and Community-Based Services
DODD worked with other cabinet agencies to raise the rates of related services that are experiencing the worst of the workforce crisis. The goal of this work is to raise the wages for direct care workers for residential settings. Rates for these services in DODD home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers will increase by 16.5 percent. This increase will result in a $16 per hour average reimbursement for the rates that pay DSP wages. Additional priority rates are receiving a 10 percent rate increase.

HCBS Services Increasing by 16.5%

Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC); 
HPC - Daily Billing Unit;   
HPC - Participant-Directed;   
Shared Living;   
Remote Support; 
Behavioral, Medical, Complex Care, & Competency Add-On. 

HCBS Services Increasing by 10%

Adult Day Support; 
Vocational Habilitation; 
Group Employment Support;  
Individual Employment Support; 
Career Planning; 
Non-Medical Transportation; 
Transportation, & 
Self-Directed Transportation. 

*Money Management will be brought back in line with HPC.
*Home Delivered Meals will be increased to stay consistent with other agency rates.

The budget also includes one-time funds to support one-time investments for adult day service providers, families and people with disabilities, and the DSP workforce.

Intermediate Care Facilities
The budget maintains and fully funds the statutory reimbursement formula for ICFs. An additional increase equaling 6.5 percent of per day direct care costs will be added to each ICFs daily rate. The statutory formula and 6.5 percent direct care adjustment occur in both years of the biennium. This investment matches the goal of the HCBS waiver increase to result in higher wages for ICF DSPs. This budget also provides a 200 percent increase to the add-on rate for ICFs who support Ohioans who are dependent on ventilator care.

Increasing Advocacy and Accessibility
Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families should have every opportunity to be a part of their community. People with disabilities across Ohio have led this effort and advocated for communities to be accepting and inclusive for those opportunities to exist. This budget furthers this shared goal by doing the following:

Budget language will require that at least one person eligible for services be appointed to each county board of developmental disabilities. Many counties in Ohio have already chosen to appoint people eligible for services to their boards and have seen good results because of the lived experiences and ideas they bring to the discussions and decisions of the board. DODD will support self-advocates, county boards, and local appointing authorities in this effort.

DODD will partner with state and local partners to increase the availability of universal changing tables in public places and businesses. This will increase the number of public places where people have a safe, clean place to have their personal needs attended to. 

DODD will continue to partner with the Ohio Department of Education and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio for the Learning Aid Ohio initiative. This initiative provides supplemental learning opportunities for thousands of students with disabilities across Ohio to stay on track toward their academic goals.  

DODD will also invest significantly in Advocacy and Protective Services Inc (APSI) to lower caseloads and ensure there is no waiting list for guardianship services. This ensures timely decisions and planning for people who may need guardianship services to receive the support they need to access and be included in their communities. 

Investing in Technology Support
Technology allows for greater independence and quality of life for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. This budget continues Ohio’s work as a national leader in technology. The budget will establish regional technology support which will create close to home opportunities for people to experience and try technology as well as provide technical assistance for the county boards and providers.

The budget increases rates for remote support services and provides additional funds to help providers develop their own technology services. This will allow providers to better support people with disabilities and extend the impact of their DSPs. These investments are essential to giving more people across Ohio the opportunity to be supported by technology in the way in which it works best for them.

Investing in Youth with Complex Needs
Governor DeWine’s last budget established dedicated funding for DODD multi-system youth initiatives. This budget sees an increase in that funding and bolsters partnerships to support youth with complex needs in their family homes, through short-term stabilization as well as long-term residential settings. Funding will allow DODD to support families and prevent custody relinquishment by increasing the capacity of the Multi-Disciplinary Comprehensive Assessment Team (MCAT) while also making it an option for younger youth. DODD will continue the Keeping Families Together initiative, which funds county efforts to support multi-system youth and their families. Because of the growing need for long-term residential options, DODD is proposing a new ICF peer group that will provide additional funding for ICFs willing to provide intensive services for youth with complex behavioral health needs.

Thank you to the advocates who led the efforts that influenced this historic budget. DODD will provide additional details and updates throughout the budget process.

Please join Director Hauck and DODD leadership on February 10th for a virtual budget presentation. The presentation will be on Zoom. American Sign Language (ASL) and C-Print captioning services will be available. For additional accommodations, please email You can register for the presentation here.

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