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Board Meeting Looks at DESE Grants, Budgets and Legislation


MASWM's Board of Directors discussed everything from state funding to workshop staff training during their videoconference meeting Sept. 14.
The MASWM Board of Directors Sept. 14 Zoom videoconference included extensive discussion of workshop funding and a Phase 2 CARES grant expected to be open for applications later this week. More information will be shared as soon as it’s available.

Both DESE Workshop Director Dan Gier and board members stressed that workshops should be prepared to submit applications as soon as they are available. DESE is designing the program to be as flexible as possible and, as long as managers can provide receipts for expenses, even previously incurred costs are acceptable as long, as they have not been covered by other CARES Act funds.

“This looks like a tremendously simple program,” said Board President Rob Libera. “There should not be any reason a shop should not put in this application.” Others noted that expenses through Dec. 31 are eligible as long as receipts can be submitted later.

Legislation, Funding

The board focused extensively on upcoming Missouri budget and legislative issues. Legislative consultant Lynne Schlosser said the state will likely experience shortfalls in several areas. COVID-related costs and issues like Medicaid expansion are among reasons that upcoming budget discussions will be challenging.

Board members discussed how this would impact state workshop funding. Schlosser noted that one-third of all incoming legislators will be new and may not be familiar with workshops. Workshops will need to communicate to legislators and others how their programs are partly self-funded and help reduce costs for other state programs.

Legislative Chair Kit Brewer noted another upcoming concern involves a report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on workshop employment. Based on observations of commission hearings by Missouri A Team members and others, the report is likely to be based on extensive, anti-workshop testimony that monopolized the commission hearings.

Fall Meeting

The board continued planning the Sept. 28 MASWM meeting to be held by Zoom videoconferencing. Topics are being finalized for an approximately two-hour meeting, including bylaw changes that merge MESA with MASWM. Other topics will include state funding, the CARES Act and the introduction of new managers.

The board is organizing a training session tentatively scheduled for Wednesday of that week, Sept. 30. The session will be accessible via Zoom and recorded for later access.

Additional information on these events will be shared as soon as it is available.

Other topics Sept. 15 included the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council, the Missouri Governor’s Council on Disability and the annual MASWM Legislative Meeting in January. Dates for that event have tentatively been set for Jan. 25 and 26, but whether it will be held in person or virtually will be determined later.

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MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact:
President Rob Libera – (636) 227-5666 or rlibera@lafayetteindustries.com
or Legislative Chair Kit Brewer – (314) 647-3300 or cbrewer@cuinc.org