Budget and Audit Committee Minutes

Budget and Audit Committee Minutes

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Budget and Audit Committee Minutes Rehabilitation Services Commission 400 E. Campus View Blvd., Columbus, OH 43235 March 2, 2009 RSC staff in attendance: Chair David Daugherty; Commissioner Jacqui Romer-Sensky; Commissioner Joyce Young; Commissioner Bruce Growick, Executive Director John Connelly; Chief Financial Officer Chris Hansen; Fiscal Officer Marc Protsman; Assistant VR Director Robin Moore-Cooper; Budget Manager Faye Spratley; Communications Director Steve Ostrander; BSVI Director Mike Hanes; Legislative Director Joe Dunn; Manager Janet Cool; Chief Legal Counsel Christina Wendell; BVR Director Erik Williamson Guests: Khalid Jalil, 1199 Organizer, Dan Ramos, 1199 Organizer; Sue Hetrick, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo; Joe Byrum, Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries; Brenda Curtiss, Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC); Jessica Hart; Debbie Joseph Teleconference participants: Julie Keil, Ohio Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (OARF); Holly Shellogg, OARF; Mike Jenkins, Summit County Board of MRDD; Jennifer Kuntz, Debra Schnosiky, John Finch, Central Ohio Vocational Alternatives (COVA); Judy Braun, COVA Welcome and Introductions At 1:00 p.m. Chair Daugherty called the meeting to order. Minutes Commissioner Jacquie Romer-Sensky moved to approve the February 4, 2009 Budget and Audit Committee Meeting Minutes, seconded by Commissioner Bruce Growick. Motion carried. Public Comment: Joe Byrum stated ...

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Budget and Audit Committee Minutes Rehabilitation Services Commission 400 E. Campus View Blvd., Columbus, OH 43235 March 2, 2009 RSC staff in attendance: Chair David Daugherty; Commissioner Jacqui Romer Sensky; Commissioner Joyce Young; Commissioner Bruce Growick, Executive Director John Connelly; Chief Financial Officer Chris Hansen; Fiscal Officer Marc Protsman; Assistant VR Director Robin MooreCooper; Budget Manager Faye Spratley; Communications Director Steve Ostrander; BSVI Director Mike Hanes; Legislative Director Joe Dunn; Manager Janet Cool; Chief Legal Counsel Christina Wendell; BVR Director Erik Williamson Guests: Khalid Jalil, 1199 Organizer, Dan Ramos, 1199 Organizer; Sue Hetrick, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo;Byrum, Ohio Association of Goodwill Joe Industries; Brenda Curtiss, Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC); Jessica Hart; Debbie Joseph Teleconference participants: Julie Keil, Ohio Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (OARF); Holly Shellogg, OARF; Mike Jenkins, Summit County Board of MRDD; Jennifer Kuntz, Debra Schnosiky, John Finch, Central Ohio Vocational Alternatives (COVA); Judy Braun, COVA Welcome and Introductions At 1:00 p.m. Chair Daugherty called the meeting to order. Minutes Commissioner Jacquie RomerSensky moved to approve the February 4, 2009 Budget and Audit Committee Meeting Minutes, seconded by Commissioner Bruce Growick. Motion carried. Public Comment: Joe Byrum stated he is representing the Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries’ President Marjory Pizzuti. He distributed a letter signed by Ms. Pizzuti on behalf of the Association to the Commissioners. He read the letter (attachment A). Stimulus Update Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Chris Hansen stated for the past several weeks, she, Executive Director John Connelly, and Legislative Director Joe Dunn, have been working with the Governor’s Office on stimulus information for inclusion in a statewide data base. RSC is the owner of four funding streams: VR, Independent Living (IL)/Older Blind, IL Part B and IL Part C. We worked with the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) on IL Parts B and C. She reported the Governor’s Office is to share the information with the public.
Budget and Audit Committee Meeting Minutes March 2, 2009 __________ page 2 CFO Hansen reported there are a lot of questions we don’t have answers to. She reported on the VR program by highlighting key areas as described in the Governor’s SharePoint document. She stated we are assuming the program is going to follow the same guidelines as the VR dollars. We may receive different guidance from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). We provided this information for the Governor’s Office website. We identified the funding sources for Ohio. We identified the portion of the bill and pulled out language from the stimulus bill, page number, contact information what funding is based on, etc. Three of the four programs are based on formula funding. We are assuming it is based on the same type of formula that our current VR dollars are calculated on. We briefly described what funding is required; match dollars, the process for drawing down funds and believe the process is going to be similar. Dollars need to be spent, and we are assuming they are received during the current federal fiscal year and can be carried over one more year. The intent of the stimulus bill is to get money out and spent quickly. SILC Executive Director Brenda Curtis stated IL Part B has one year carryover. SILC is having conversations with RSA that one year carryover is still fluid and that SILC would be allowed to carry money forward. She further stated IL Part C has a one year life and the money is coming directly into the Centers. Once monies come into the Centers, then SILC can get started. Commissioner Daugherty asked, how does the money come in? Executive Director Curtiss replied we are not sure. We are in flux and waiting for further guidance. Legislative Director Joe Dunn commented Congress did not put any language into the bill. CFO Hansen stated funding sources were identified for three of the four programs. IL Part C is competitive not formula and strictly between the federal government and the Centers for Independent Living. Legislative Director Joe Dunn stated if funding sources change, we will need to respond to the Governor’s Office via SharePoint. CFO Hansen stated as additional information becomes available, we will share it with everyone. Commissioner Bruce Growick asked, do you have any indication from RSA when they will have any recommendations on how the funds will be used? Executive Director Connelly stated the only information we received is the dollar amount and further guidance will be coming. We do not know if RSA is planning to come up with parameters. As Commissioners look at these proposals, we based our information assuming there will not be different parameters other than what currently exists.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 3 Commissioner Jacqui RomerSensky asked what our intent is today as we go through this chart? Is it to be familiar with the chart and make recommendations? Commissioner Daugherty responded the idea is for us to become familiar with proposals as they come through and look at options, not necessarily say yes or no. Commissioner Young stated there is so much information and we need to look at the information as a committee and if there are any general recommendations, the recommendations need to be sent to the full Commission. SILC Executive Director Brenda Curtiss stated at the Governor’s Office SharePoint meetings, it was mentioned that there is another portal where people can share their ideas. Executive Director John Connelly stated some of the Stimulus money is open for people to offer suggestions on how to spend the money. However, money coming in for VR and IL has to come through the same channel  RSC. Commissioner Daugherty asked, who is eligible to make proposals? Executive Director Connelly replied depending on the source of funding there could be a variety of people or entities eligible. Legislative Director Joe Dunn stated the submissions are based on what specifically they are requesting. For example, cities are submitting shovelready projects. If funding is via a formula grant, it is still going to follow the appropriate channel and go through the proper state agency. Recess At 1:24 p.m. Chair Daugherty recessed the meeting to open up the room to allow for more chairs for people attending the meeting. Open Meeting At 1:30 p.m. Chair Daugherty reconvened the meeting. VR Options ChartCFO Hansen stated we are waiting on final information from the federal government regarding if there are particular earmarks or requirements for the stimulus money. Ms. Hansen stated the VR Options Chart is a list of brainstorming ideas from Executive Team members that touches on and covers various programs. As the Committee members reviewed the VR Options Charts, CFO Hansen stated she will have the responsible Bureau Director report on the items in the VR Options Chart. The following discussion took place regarding the VR Options Chart.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 4 Independent Living Older Blind (IL/OB) BSVI Director Mike Hanes reported over the last couple of years, our budget was reduced with the IL/OB program. We operate on 1.3 million dollars. This money could be allocated to 11 contracted CRPs and vendors who currently hold contracts. We can serve 3,000 individuals with these dollars. We could get about 488 thousand dollars in FFY 2009. The remaining 905 thousand dollars could be spent via a Request for Proposal (RFP) to new or existing vendors. This would keep individuals from going into nursing homes or family homes. Chair Daugherty asked, would RSC be able to find 3,000 people? BSVI Director Mike Hanes responded our statistics indicate there are a lot more individuals we could serve. Yes, we can market the information so that people know we have money and we can find the individuals. Commissioner RomerSensky asked, would the RFPs be for new or existing vendors in 2010? Would these vendors be eligible again in 2010? BSVI Director Hanes stated RFPs would be made available to our vendors again and we could see new vendors. Commissioner RomerSensky further stated regarding our vendors, individuals worry about us gearing up everyone to shut them down. We want to spend the money to help people. This is one of her worries. Commissioner Bruce Growick stated RSC could add to the RFP a continuation of maintenance of services after funding concluded. Include a section that sensitizes applicants to these funds and services beyond the grant period. We do not want to mislead agencies or individuals. Case Services General BVR Director Williamson stated we have a concern that the stimulus money only lasts for a certain amount of time We want to do a good job making sure that we are clear that we may not be able to sustain the level of funding. BSVI Director Mike Hanes stated with ERI, the VR Bureaus will be losing over 60 counselors and not able to replace those positions. What can our current counselors actively process? We figured five million for expanded case services each year is a reasonable amount. Commissioner Daugherty stated how is five million dollars a year being spent? BVR Director Williamson responded we plan to purchase case services only; the money is not for staffing.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 5 Commissioner RomerSensky asked, what are the rules for hiring retirees back as contractors? BSVI Director Hanes stated 60 days is waiting time. Retirees have to be on payroll. They can not be on contract with the agency they retired from. CFO Hansen stated we didn’t want to increase staff to reduce again later. A concern is OBM may not approve hiring people back from ERI. Suzanne Minnich stated regarding the brainstorming ideas, there are additional funds in the area of building RSC’s capacity for serving people with traumatic brain injury, returning soldiers to work. Joe Byrum mentioned vehicle contract services agreements that use the capacity of notforprofits with counselor oversight, but with notforprofit staff doing the majority of the work, which would extend the current VR staff. Khalid Jalil, stated 1199 is concerned about temporarily sending counselor work out. Since the state is being given more money, can some of these counseling positions be replaced? Commissioner Growick stated he would like to see as much of the 21 million dollars go to case services as possible. We need to take a hard look at each line item, including return on investment. He stated he received an email from a White House liaison asking what can each state provide on how this money can help people? In particular, can the money help our unemployed rather than replacing infrastructure? Commissioner Growick further stated he hopes that someone would look into instituting a Pathways 3 so that our partners in the field can serve more clients. Ohio Gateways SystemsBSVI Director Hanes stated this project is currently in progress. This is an automated system to computerize recordkeeping of monthly operating systems for the BE program. OSCAR Replacement (Case Services Replacement System) BVR Director Williamson stated this item (as well as the next item) was put on the list because there were projects that we had scheduled to complete, but due to the budget reductions, we decided not to pursue. This is a very expensive project and we will need to do it at some point. We need 18 months to two years to have it complete and on counselors’ desks. The vendor we plan to work with is in 19 other states and is familiar with the VR process, federal regulations, etc.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 6 Laptop and Desk Top Replacements BVR Director Williamson stated a refresh of laptop and desk top computers is done every four years and is scheduled in 2010. The risk in delaying replacements is costs for warranty work versus new laptops. One advantage by ordering new laptops and desk tops is we get webcams and microphones built into the laptops to use for translation, videoconferencing, etc. Commissioner RomerSensky stated this idea as well as the OSCAR replacement idea appeals to her because since stimulus is one time money, this is a one time expenditure that helps with efficiency. This is an attractive tool for one time money for one time efficiency. This goes to the heart and soul of how we can be effective in future. Commissioner Growick asked, how well can we manage this? BSVI Director Hanes stated a good deal of the work has already been done on the OSCAR replacement process. We have in place business teams that consist of vocational rehabilitation supervisors, counselors, office managers and support staff. We are prepared to move ahead with the case services replacement system. Executive Director Connelly responded we have formed an internal VR and IT team that is in place. We had to go through the State’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) process which added two years to the project. OIT did give us a waiver last year. There is a shelf life with this project. If we go beyond a certain time, then we have to go through the process again. Transportation Project: BSVI Director Hanes stated one item that consumers across the board with any disability encounter is issues with transportation. We always wanted to put money in for transportation. We are trying to identify ways to get startups going, especially in rural areas. Commissioner Romer Sensky asked, is this for people who need to replace a special van, or maybe never had the opportunity to buy a van, or are we starting them up in 12 months and then dropping them? BSVI Director Hanes stated we want to infuse the money into the community. Commissioner Romer Sensky stated rarely can we continue with projects. Maybe we can work with partners, COTA, taxi cabs or buy special vehicles to help people with disabilities for years after this project is over.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 7 Commissioner Growick stated a power transit system is at the regional level. He applauds this rather than the individual purchase of vehicles. We need to think about ways in which to partner with other counties and cities. We need some way to leverage to encourage other state agencies to move forward. We need to increase the cash transfer agreements (CTA) with other agencies and counties. We might be the best at what we do, but we are singular and isolated. We can take 21 million dollars and partner with people. Legislative Director Dunn stated Representative Peggy Lehner is looking at transportation issues. We are making sure that RSC is at the table. There is also a new transportation group that we are looking at purchasing a membership with. Community Centers for the Deaf (CCD) BVR Director Williamson stated the CCDs budget has been cut with Governor’s budget. They have statewide responsibilities and provide specific services to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. We would like to help them see where they can partner to help people become employed. We are looking at a competitive grant or contract. Videoconferencing BSVI Director Hanes stated the one time stimulus money could be used for more videoconference sites within the state. We are currently limited to five sites. With additional video bridges, we would be able to provide more videoconferencing sites which would allow us to maximize staff time and increase efficiency. Commission Daugherty asked is videoconference in every office? BSVI Director Hanes responded, no not in every office; but would be in offices that are located within one and one half hours of each other. Supported Employment Development BVR Director Williamson stated we would like to develop a program to increase hiring of persons with mental health (MH) and mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MRDD). We would work with the departments of MH and MRDD to come up with a model to hire people with disabilities. The model would look to seek legislation for tax incentives with their continued employment. This is a fairly rough idea but we have some partners who are interested in this. Commissioner Daugherty asked, are MRDD and MH getting stimulus money? Executive Director Connelly stated he hasn’t seen information on this. Legislative
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 8 Director Dunn stated MRDD will see an increase in funding due to Medicaid reimbursement. Employment and Rehabilitation Stimulus Grants BSVI Director Hanes stated this is for grants for CRPs, Non Profits Employment Networks and One Stops to develop job programs to increase employment of persons with disabilities. This idea is a way to further pass along additional grants. Commissioner Daugherty asked, is this project similar to the old Innovation and Expansion (I & E) grants? BSVI Director Hanes stated this project would include more programming. Commissioner Growick asked the audience if there are any comments from CRPs? Mr. Byrum stated if this is limited to only starting new programs in an environment where we will revert to very low case services, then we won’t have a lot of takers. You may have an opportunity to provide ongoing VR services to people. We would jump at the opportunity to participate. John Finch stated this is a great opportunity. His organization leveraged money from three Mental Health boards. He stated he sees this as an infusion of opportunity to leverage some of this money with other state agencies, other communities and government. Commissioner Growick asked how do we address the sustainability aspect? How do we balance this without misleading the public? Mr. Finch responded we need to design the program with sustainability in the beginning by choosing our partners and to use this as a relationship and future partnerships builder. It can be done. Ms. Braun stated in looking at a two year cycle, it is just not sustainability we need to look at; rather we have to be creative and look at redesign. In the end, it may not be a very different use of what we have now. We need to address how can we do it differently. Document Scanning BVR Director Williamson stated we have wanted to go paperless to use less storage place for some time. We need a couple of scanners and staff in order to do this. This would be a one time use of stimulus dollars. Legislative Director Dunn stated we discussed maybe utilizing the State Use Program, hire groups of consumers, and/or work with CRPs to see if they want a work project.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 9 Project CoordinatorExecutive Director Connelly stated several proposed projects are on the table and in keeping with accountability and transparency, we have to use these dollars effectively. We would like to have a project coordinator on a contract basis to get projects up and running and insure projects have oversight and accountability. This is a placeholder depending on which direction we go. CommunicationsOffice of Communications Director Steve Ostrander stated there are two parts to this plan. One part is to extend the HireAbility Conference and the second part is to increase awareness of hiring people with disabilities. Our goal is to take the Conference to the employer rather than the employer coming to Columbus. Ohio is becoming more diversified and we need to establish a connection with these groups. Stimulus SSA BDD Director Kathy Johnson stated the Social Security Administration (SSA) stimulus bill consists of $250 stimulus payments to existing beneficiaries and recipients by late May/early June; $500 million to process additional claims receiving; $20 billion in health information technology across the Federal Government – some allocated to SSA to continue development and expansion of Health Information Technology; and $500 million to replace SSA’s National Computer Center which is physically fraying and at risk of failure from electrical interruption and other facility issues. SSA is estimating hiring 5,000 to 6,000 employees nationally before the end of the federal fiscal year. The SSA Commissioner sent a letter to governors of all states reinforcing 100% federal funding and work done by Disability Determination Services for the people of that state. Ms. Johnson further reported there was an SSA conference call with Disability Determination (DDS) Directors nationwide and funds will be designated to states to hire. If a DDS cannot hire, funds will be given to those that can hire. BDD plans to request authorization to hire 3 more classes of adjudicators this federal fiscal year (one class of 26 started in January 2009). Four classes per year are typical. Due to workload and projected increases, plans are to request larger than typicallysized classes. Other ideas to put on paper 1. Collaborative projects with OneStops relating to access, infrastructure or other. 2. Backfill GRF cuts for CCDs, and/or Brain Injury, and/or SILC? 3. Financial needs testing. Do we need to delay implementation because we have new money or do we need to continue to pursue this option?
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 10 4. Pathways programs are struggling to come up with funds for match. Is there a way to look at stimulating the Pathways program in areas of the state where it does not exist? Issues of statewideness and Maintenance of Effort may impact this option. 5. Many polling places in Ohio are not accessible. Maybe RSC can work with the ADA Advisory Committee for the Secretary of State’s Office. 6. Would like to see RSC take the lead in proposing to Governor’s Office to work with other state agencies to develop cooperative programs. Is there some way to use stimulus dollars to reach out to state agencies? We need to engage trust and cooperation with other state agencies that we can’t accomplish individually. Supported employment may be a good way to do this. We need to work with the Workforce Policy Board. ERI Update CFO Hansen reported the Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) Program was open late January and closed February 25, 2009 for VR, Program Management and BE staff. We anticipated 153 employees would accept ERI. We received 158 applicants and it appears we exceeded the numbers. Human Resources is validating the applicant eligibility. We are moving ahead and will find out if dollar savings result as projected. In addition, CFO Hansen reported the SSA denied RSC’s request for ERI for BDD because BDD is in a growth mode. CFO Hansen reported we placed limits on the ERI program because of what we could afford. We will report back to full Commission after we get more information. Commissioner Growick asked how disappointed are our BDD employees that ERI is not being offered to them? BDD Director Johnson responded some are disappointed, but it was explained to them about SSA’s workload and that we are bringing in additional people. Commissioner Growick asked what are our 1199 employees’ reactions to the ERI? Mr. Jalil responded they are very happy to get things rolling; however, they are concerned about the potential that the new collective bargaining agreement may impact their cashout of leave.
Budget and Audit Committee Minutes March 2, 2009 Page 11 Pathways Carryover Executive Director Connelly stated Commissioners received a letter from Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers (OCBHFSP) expressing a concern about carryover. He stated he understood Commissioner Growick assisted OCBHFSP with the letter. Most of our contracts are with MH and MRDD system. We are reaching out. This was a start up year. Since we tried to pull in FFY 08 monies late in the year so federal monies would not be lost, people could end up with two year monies in one year. We are recommending the contracts that are in good standing be allowed to carry over money. We do not want to lose any dollars and as the Governor said, his main focus is to make sure all money comes in to Ohio and to make sure it stays here. We hope contractors will put up match for FFY 09 because we need those dollars to remain at MOE. Even with those dollars we will be a little short. We would hope, but not expect, to get match again in 09. We had planned to hold a meeting with all contractors by the end of March and moved the meeting to the middle of March. This meeting will be a statewide meeting not an areabyarea meeting. We did respond to OCBHFSP on Friday. We look to work through these things just as we did last time we had the Pathways program. We want this to be a winwin situation. Commissioner Growick stated there might be some concerns from CRPs about what are the factors involved with carryover. Executive Director Connelly responded a factor would be, has a reasonable effort been made to reach goal? He stated we still have six months left in the contract period. The administrative billings are right on target. Suggestions from Commissioners would be welcome. Commissioner Daugherty asked, are you getting technical support to people? Executive Director Connelly responded yes. We have decentralized the management part and there are things we need to improve with technical assistance. He thanked Commissioner Growick for meeting with UBHC and helping them write their letter. Assistant VR Director Robin MooreCooper stated the first quarterly review is being done and this will allow us to see where we are. John Finch stated we have a Pathways project with three MH Boards in Franklin, Fairfield and Delaware counties. Having managed before, these projects take a while to get up and going. It took us 18 months to two years to really get the flow. Even though we are behind, we are on track and will get there. Mr. Byrum stated one thing that caused a concern with carryover was the 13 month contract issue  beginning one month prior to take advantage of the fiscal