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January 28, 2021

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Governor Recommends Budget that Supports Vulnerable Floridians

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released his recommended Florida Leads Budget that demonstrates his commitment to helping vulnerable Floridians, including those served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’s leadership in keeping Florida’s economy open, the state budget will be able to continue to meet the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities. I applaud Governor DeSantis for making individuals with disabilities an important focus in his administration.”

Key investments include:

  • $15 million to enroll individuals in crisis onto the waiver and to help those with significant additional needs.
  • $1.3 million of additional funding to continue the implementation of APD iConnect. This system will provide APD with a central client data system and will include electronic visit verification (EVV) of some waiver services.
  • $320,000 to continue the development of the Individual Comprehensive Assessment tool for gathering information on each customer’s abilities and needs.

Family Care Council Florida Chair Dina Justice said, “We appreciate Governor DeSantis in his efforts to move 300 individuals onto the waiver. Transitioning our individuals from the waiting list to the iBudget Florida waiver is important to them and to their families. Funding for quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities is a priority of the Family Care Council. We are happy that the state of Florida is committed to helping people with developmental disabilities remain in their communities.”

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida Executive Director Janice Phillips said, “I thank Governor DeSantis for his ongoing support of individuals with developmental disabilities. This funding is critical to protecting the health and safety of our customers.”

Support Coordination Association of Florida Chairman Laura Mohesky said, “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his continued support of people with developmental disabilities in his budget recommendation. Providing vital support to people with special abilities so they can stay in the homes and communities is imperative.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 57,000 Floridians with severe forms of autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).