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December 8, 2023

Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Governor DeSantis Continues to Deliver for Individuals with Unique Abilities through the Focus on Florida’s Future Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Director Taylor Hatch applauds Governor DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024–25, which includes $2.4 billion in funding to support Floridians with unique abilities access to quality services, maximize community integration, and achieve a state of thriving.

“This budget is another example of Governor DeSantis’ steadfast commitment to support and empower all Floridians, including those with unique abilities,” said Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Taylor N. Hatch. “Thanks to the leadership of the Governor and the priorities outlined in this budget, our Agency is able to continue to enhance and strengthen the system of care to provide necessary supports and additional opportunities to serve individuals with unique abilities and their families. These strategic investments are an example of the Governor and First Lady’s unwavering commitment to ensure all Florida families reach their God-given potential.”

Specifically, Governor DeSantis is supporting individuals with unique abilities and their families with these key investments:

  • $6.5 million in continued investment for the Dually Diagnosed Pilot Program to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Funding allows for continuance of the program in Orange and Broward counties, and its expansion into Leon and Hillsborough counties.
  • $800,000 to conduct an actuarial analysis and begin implementing a new Adult Pathways Waiver. The waiver aims to provide supports for individuals transitioning to adulthood to achieve greater independence and empowerment.
  • $79.6 million to enroll individuals in pre-enrollment categories onto the iBudget Florida waiver who are experiencing crisis, children in the child welfare system, and individuals with intensive needs.
  • More than $700,000 to implement a Workforce Development Apprenticeship pilot program for front line team members who directly serve individuals with unique abilities. This apprenticeship program works to further professionalize the critical role of the Direct Service Professional and support a lasting career path within the system of care.
  • $60.2 million for rate increases to providers that deliver supported living coaching, therapies, residential habilitation services, private duty nursing services, and life skills development services to individuals on the Florida iBudget Home and Community-Based Services waiver.
  • $350,000 to conduct a fiscal analysis to design and develop a rate differential for providers in rural areas of opportunity to support and foster additional providers.
  • $5 million to permanently reduce corporate income taxes for businesses employing individuals with unique abilities.