At the close of the 2017 General Assembly session, the news was OK for brain injury. We didn’t really gain anything, but our biggest battle was not losing funding that had been given last year for new community based brain injury services. DARS had called for a 7% decrease in brain injury funding, in response to Governor McAuliffe’s Spending Reduction Plan of October 2016. Advocates were able to convince Governor McAuliffe that the money needed to be returned to the budget for 2018. Additionally, strong grass roots advocacy with members of the House and Senate facilitated the return of the money for this year!
Thanks to everyone who played a part in this victory. Our advocacy partners were critical to our success and included the Brain Injury Law Center, Brain Injury Services, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, the BridgeLine, Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana Buckner, The Choice Group, Community Brain injury Services, Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, The Dashiell Foundation, Eggleston Services, No Limits Eastern Shore, and NeuroRestorative.
And a HUGE thanks to the hundreds of individual advocates who contacted their legislators and made a difference, not only for themselves, but for someone else they may not even know, and who in that moment experienced the joy that comes in service to something bigger than themselves.