Gov. John Carney will sign House Bill 104, known as the Michael McNesby Full Funding for Adults with I/DD Act, at 9:45 a.m. Sept. 4 at Elwyn, a nonprofit human services agency located at 321 E. 11th St., Wilmington.
The McNesby Act was introduced in 2017, sponsored by Rep. Melanie George Smith and Sen. Bryan Townsend. The bill passed unanimously in the Delaware House of Representatives and in the Senate in June of this year.
The bill is named for Michael McNesby, who passed away in March. He was born with Down syndrome in 1960, a time when society was unsure what to do with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or I/DD. However, McNesby’s family embraced and nurtured him. He contributed to society, most notably working at Elwyn for 28 years.
“It’s significant that the signing of this bill will take place at Elwyn in the very room where Michael worked and spent so much of his time,” said Thomas Cook, executive director of the Ability Network of Delaware. “This is a milestone for Michael and his family, as well as the thousands of people in Delaware with I/DD and their supporters who worked tirelessly to advocate for this bill.”
The bill signals Delaware’s commitment to fully funding services for adults with I/DD, based on the market study presented to the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General in 2014, which is to be updated with utilization data for fiscal year 2018. Delaware has taken steps toward closing the significant gap in funding for day and residential services provided to adults with I/DD by appropriating $4.67 million in state funds for contractual rate increases in fiscal year 2019.
“The Ability Network of Delaware and our member organizations appreciate the great strides the governor and our legislators have made this year in supporting adults with I/DD,” said Cook. “We look forward to working together with the governor, state senators and representatives, the budget director, and state agency staff in the coming years to keep moving forward.”