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Developmentally Disabled Cuts Debated

April 20th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Thousands of families who care for the Developmentally Disabled are facing the prospect of losing state services after July First. Up to 200 million dollars is on the chopping block in Tallahassee. Mike Vasilinda tells us the cuts are being considered because of bureaucratic bungling… but it’s the disabled who will pay the price.

Hear it here: DD Cuts

Elizabeth Hanes says art therapy has made a huge difference in the quality of her life
“I wouldn’t know what my true talents are… I wouldn’t without them.” she says.

Unfortunately for Elizabeth and thousands of other families, severe cuts in services like art and dance therapy are on the table at the state legislature. The problem starts with a lack of accountability from the Agency for People with Disabilities. The agency has at times said it didn’t need any more money… then spend 150 million more than it had.

No one knows exactly what, if anything, will be cut says John Hall, the chief lobbyist for Florida’s retarded. “That’s the 64 million dollar question. People are gonna… these are services that have already been judged medically necessary.”

Several hundred developmentally disabled came to the capitol this week. They got encouragement from the Governor “It is important that we have caring hearts.” says Charlie Crist.

But lawmakers seem destined to make changes for fear the DD program is out of control. Aaron Bean is negotiating for the House: “We’re still very much open for a creative solution to limit the amount of harm done.”

Unfortunately for Elizabeth and thousands like her, their quality of life is measured by what enriches them….including art therapy “I love it. It is everything. I mean, it is so awesome!” says Elizabeth Hanes.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Education, Health, Legislature, Politics, State News | 2 Comments »

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