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January 20, 2012

Open Line

Planning and Policy Councils

Official appointments are underway for five Planning and Policy Councils that were created in the Tennessee Code Annotated when DIDD became a department. We are looking forward to the input and ideas these Councils will generate and welcome this new collaboration between DIDD, providers, families, and advocates.

Commissioner Luncheons

The first luncheon is scheduled for January 31st. We will have two participants from Buffalo River Services and three from Independent Opportunities, Inc. The agency director and direct support professionals for persons served are certainly welcome to accompany. The next date will be towards the end of February. If providers are interested in submitting names of persons served by the agency, please continue to contact Felicia Thompson at felicia.thompson@tn.gov. She will maintain a waiting list where additional participants will be randomly selected each month. Thanks to all who have expressed their interest thus far.

December Revenue Collections

State revenue collections for December were $965.7 million or 16.54% above December 2010. December collections posted the eighth consecutive month in which the growth rate has been 5.0% or higher. On an accrual basis, December is the fifth month in the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year. Hopefully, a continual growth in revenue collection may result in less required budget reductions.

State of the State Address

A reminder to everyone Governor Haslam is set to deliver his annual address with a tentative date of January 30th. It will likely be available on www.TN.gov for viewing. Further details will be provided in next week's edition.

Legislative Update

The following DIDD Administration Bills are on the calendar for the week of January 23rd:

  1. HB 2364 sponsored by Representative Matthew Hill, is a proposal to remove references to local admissions review boards at the two remaining developmental centers (Clover Bottom Developmental Center, which includes Harold Jordan Center, and Greene Valley Developmental Center) and replace such boards with a single, centralized, statewide admissions review committee.
  2. HB 2365 sponsored by Representative Joey Hensley, is a proposal that allows direct support professionals to follow universal do not resuscitate orders, as applicable.

The bills listed above will be heard before the House Health and Human Resources Sub-Committee, Tuesday, January 24th at 10:30 a.m.