Impact of Georgia’s FY21 budget on the autism community

July 8, 2020

On Tuesday, June 30, Governor Kemp signed the fiscal year 2021 budget for the state of Georgia. Over the past month, the Georgia state legislature has reviewed the proposed budget, and autism advocates have played a critical role in making our community’s needs heard. Their advocacy restored much of the funding that was proposed to be cut! 

Given the events of the past six months, we were expecting smaller budget allowances and your advocacy helped in limiting the effects of budget cuts on the autism community. Instead of seeing funding completely eliminated for many supports and services, the following cuts were made: 

  • Funding for autism supports provided by the Emory Autism Center is reduced from $96,667 to $29,000; the Marcus Autism Center is reduced from $1,010,655 to $303,196; and the Matthew Reardon Center is reduced from $225,000 to $67,500. 

  • Funding for intensive family support services at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities was reduced from $3 million to $1 million. 

In addition, funding for 100 additional NOW and COMP waivers for intellectually and developmentally disabled increased to $5,599,600. 

The budget cuts will most significantly impact adult programming services, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities' (DBHDD) transition program and individuals on Medicaid with severe, challenging behaviors. As further information is released on how family support services are to be covered under the new budget, we will inform the community. 

If your family is experiencing problems in ensuring services are available and covered as a result of these budget changes, please contact the Autism Response Team at help@autismspeaks.org or 1-888-AUTISM2 (1-888-288-4762). 

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You can also reach the Autism Response Team by phone or email: 888-288-4762, en Espanol 888-772-7050, or help@autismspeaks.org.