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Writing Advocacy Letters

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Writing Advocacy Letters

  1. 1. WRITING ADVOCACY LETTERS Brain Injury Support Group March 19th, 2013 The Independent Living Center Andrea Buening, IL Special Projects Coordinator
  2. 2. Do your Homework • Who are you writing to? • Representatives and Senators • What are you writing for? • What services are you advocating for? • Are there bills and legislative activity you want your legislator to support or oppose?
  3. 3. Who are your Senators? • Senator Ron Richard • 201 W Capitol Ave., Rm. 321 Jefferson City, Missouri 65101 (573) 751-2173 • LEGISLATIVE STAFF: Pattie Parris Dusty Schnieders Heidi Kolkmeyer
  4. 4. Who are your Representatives? • Bill Lant • MO House of Representatives 201 West Capitol Avenue Room 235BA Jefferson City, MO 65101 Phone: 573-751-9801 Legislative Assistant: Elaine Meller Email: Bill.Lant@house.mo.gov email at home, at lantsfeed@netins.net
  5. 5. Who are your Representatives? • Bill White • MO House of Representatives 201 West Capitol Avenue Room 407A Jefferson City MO 65101 Phone: (573) 751-3791 FAX: (573) 522-0561 Legislative Assistant: Celeste Miller Email: Bill.White@house.mo.gov
  6. 6. What is our message? • Keep it short and to the point • Give them your name and address • Tell them briefly your story. Just say that you are a survivor of brain injury. • Why you are writing. (Support or Oppose) • Refer to Bill name and number, committee assignment. • How his action will impact you and others in the state
  7. 7. Continue your letter • Close by requesting action you want them to take • Express your appreciation and willingness to be contacted for further information. • Ask your friends and family to contact their legislators as well.
  8. 8. Form for letter To Your Senator: The Honorable (full name) rest of their address To Your Representative: The Honorable (full name) rest of their address
  9. 9. Continuing your letter • Dear Senator or Representative _____: Please Support: House Bill 623/723/727 – closes loopholes of funding for the Brain Injury Fund Why this is important? The Brain Injury Fund has a projected deficit of $200,000 in FY 2014. This will cause the waiting list for services to increase, causing adults with brain injuries to wait longer for rehabilitation and support services. The Brain Injury Fund is the primary source of revenue for the DHSS Adult Brain Injury program and generates about $750,000 each year for adults with brain injury.
  10. 10. Continue to provide information: • The Brain Injury Fund $2.00 surcharge is inadequate Revenue for the Brain Injury Fund is generated from a $2.00 surcharge on all criminal offenses. Unfortunately, there are many loopholes such as municipalities are exempt from the surcharge and judges can choose not to enforce the Brain Injury Fund fee.
  11. 11. Continue to provide information • Brain Injury Fund Surcharge Increase legislation Legislation in 2012 included an increase in the surcharge from $2.00 to $10.00 per offense. This would have provided funding to restore rehabilitation and support services prior to the 2010 budget cuts, transition individuals from the waiting list to receive services, and initiate a Brain Injury Waiver. This increase in the Brain Injury Fund surcharge was removed from the final bill.
  12. 12. Continuing information • An increase in the surcharge cannot be for a specific type of bill, such as a DWI, due to the procedure to progress the various types of violations. The increase was attached to a DUI/DWI bill a few years ago and did not make it far since the administration office had processing concerns.
  13. 13. Support HB 723/727 • Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver An increase in the Brain Injury fund with NEW MONEY GENERATED to be used as the match for the federal pull- down is a long-range option for assisting survivors of brain injury as they strive for a quality life with brain injury. The Department of Health and Senior Services has explored the viability of a TBI Waiver for several years, burt there has not been State money available for the match without a drastically limiting revenue available for current services and individuals needing those services.
  14. 14. Request: Oppose HB 555/597/341 and SB 187 Maintain Missouri’s all-rider helmet law – Helmets save live and Missouri tax dollars. Healthcare costs are higher for injuries when the individual is not wearing a helmet. All states that have repealed all-r4ider helmet usage laws have seen an increase in injuries and deaths.
  15. 15. Request Support • HB 10 line 650.0262, $614,000 of general revenue for the DHSS Adult Brain Injury Program • The DHSS Adult Head Injury Program is the only state agency providing funding for rehabilitation and support services for adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. • Rehabilitation Services are vital for survivors of brain injury to return to work, live independently within the community, and improve their quality of life.
  16. 16. Waiting for Services • As of Oct. 15, 2012, there are 198 survivors of brain injury waiting an average of 952 days for rehabilitation and support services – this is an increase of 277 days. • In July 2010, individuals were waiting an average of 675 days for rehabilitation and support services. • It has grown to 952 days which is more than 2.5 years!
  17. 17. DHSS Adult Brain Injury Program • 2010 there was a 58% cut in revenue funding • Services eliminated or drastically reduced due to $614,000 budget cut include: • Transitional home and community support • Transportation • Pre-vocational training • Adjustment counseling • Socialization Skills Training • Behavior Assessment and Consultation
  18. 18. We understand there is no money • There IS a way to generate funding to increase the services provided by the Adult Brain Injury Program without costing the state revenue. • Please consider supporting the before mentioned legislation. • Thank you for your time and attention.
  19. 19. March 19, 2013 To the Honorable ____ Address Dear ____ Identify who you are. Tell them you are one of the people they represent. Give them a way to contact you for more information. Request their support and opposition on the items we reviewed. Thank them and sign.

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