Rep. Liz Thomson and Rep. Melanie Stansbury's Legislation Expanding Access for Developmentally Disabled Passes First Committee
Santa Fe – Today, a bill sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque) and co-sponsored by Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. House Bill 68 addresses the chronic problem of long waitlists for the developmental disabilities waiver services in New Mexico.
“This bill is so important for New Mexico families who have a family member with a developmental disability. It is unthinkable and unbelievable that families are waiting 13 years for services they desperately need and for which they qualify. This legislation goes a long way in finally addressing this absurd waitlist,” said Rep. Liz Thomson.
“Thousands of families across New Mexico are desperately in need of developmental disabilities services. This bill is a critical step in addressing the waitlist for DD waiver services and will help improve the lives of families across the state," said Rep. Melanie Stansbury.
The waiting list for the developmental disabilities waiver services exceeds 4,600 people who are eligible for these services. 47% of individuals on the waiting list are minors, and 73% are under 26 years of age.
House Bill 68 requires the Department of Health to move a total of 3,000 individuals off the waiting list and into the waiver program over the next five years. This legislation includes $25 million to the Department of Health to pay for this mandate.
House Democrats are fighting to expand and improve access to critical health care services across the state. New Mexicans thrive when they are healthy and feel valued by their health care system.