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JULY 17, 2013

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Governor Scott Co-Hosts APD Town Hall Meeting

Panama City, FL. Today, Governor Rick Scott joined Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Director, Barbara Palmer, to host an APD Town Hall meeting to discuss the state of the agency and highlight $36 million in funding from the 2013-2014 Florida Family First budget.
Governor Rick Scott said, “I want every Floridian, including those with disabilities, to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of finding a job and live their version of the American dream.  With our $36 million investment, we will be making a big impact on many families throughout the state. For the first time in eight years, we are helping more than 750 people move off the APD waiting list where they will receive the services they need to participate in their community and develop skills to find employment. I am pleased that many people in the Northwest Region are being move off of the APD waiting list.” 
The Florida Families First budget includes $1.1 billion for APD. $36 million of that funding will allow individuals on the waiting list to enroll in the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver and start receiving services in their local communities. Those with the most critical needs will benefit from this new funding.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “We are thrilled that Governor Scott joined us today for our Town Hall meeting in Panama City.  Our APD customers and stakeholders were extremely fortunate to hear firsthand from our governor about his commitment to them and to APD, and for him to hear and learn about their concerns.”

The Florida Families First budget also includes a one-time appropriation of $40 million ($17 million in state funding, $23 million federal match) to pay off the waiver deficit from prior fiscal years. With this funding, APD is projecting to be within its appropriation for the first time in many years.

The Florida Families First budget also includes about $500,000 to assist people on the waiver waiting list who have indicated that they want to go to work.  The funding will pay for supported employment services to help 200 people with developmental disabilities obtain and maintain jobs and internships.

APD Northwest Regional Operations Manager Lynne Daw said, “We are so excited that Governor Scott chose to attend his first APD Town Hall meeting in Panama City. Families, self-advocates, and stakeholders truly enjoyed this wonderful opportunity to hear directly from our governor and APD Director Barbara Palmer, and to personally thank Governor Scott for his support of our agency.”

To encourage attendance at the APD Town Hall meetings, APD launched the Picture This campaign, where Town Hall attendees were asked to take a digital photo with the Governor and Director Palmer before or after the meeting with their camera or smart phone, and then send it to  The photos will then be posted on the APD website and on APD social media. One photo will be picked to be highlighted in the APD Champion newsletter each month.