Governor signs Vulnerable Individuals Priority Act

Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Vulnerable Individuals Priority Act, co-sponsored by Joe Fain of Auburn that will provide developmental disability services to 5,000 people currently on a waiting list.

The measure, which had strong support of advocates for developmental disability services and lawmakers, will provide additional respite care and supported employment assistance.

“Having a job provides a sense of purpose and community," Fain said in a statement. "People with developmental disabilities take great pride when they can share their skills and take on responsibilities within an organization. Under this plan more than 1,000 people who want to work, but require supported employment and assistance would finally get the help they need.”

Washington features an “Employment First” policy providing assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities to help them become and remain employed. Despite expanding state services the VIP Act would not cost the state additional money by utilizing an increased federal match for services provided in the community.

The Senate unanimously approved the legislation, which received overwhelming support in the House of Representatives.

“I’ve had the great privilege to meet many South King County residents with developmental disabilities who have thrived when having the opportunity to work,” said Fain. “We’re fortunate to have supported employment groups like Auburn-based Trillium, SKCAC Industries and Employment Services, Orion, Kent Meridian's TOP program and others who do great work to help find jobs and provide support and training to keep people in those jobs.”


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