Last month, the state Senate passed a budget bill that would have made deep cuts to education, health care, services for the elderly and disabled, and countless other areas. It would have spent $1.7 billion less than Governor Ed Rendell’s proposed budget, which itself includes $1 billion in service cuts and funding reductions. Last week, the state House Appropriations Committee rejected the Senate bill.
June 30 is the deadline for approving a new state budget on time. Budget cuts must be made as the state faces a revenue shortfall of at least $3 billion. The failed Senate plan relied on cuts to balance the budget, rejecting other options. The failed proposed budget was full of inefficiency and fat that could be cut, while leaving services to Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens intact.
ADAPT’s position is that our legislators need to work to fund people first. Cuts to vital services for the disabled would be fiscally and morally irresponsible. Regardless of the funds that cutting these services would save immediately, the cost to the state would ultimately increase if the cuts are made. Some disabled people might be placed in “germ-infested” nursing homes and the state would end up paying more to support them there.
Let your Pennsylvania legislators know that you want them to make sure that the approved state budget funds people first. Ask them to support a budget which roughly maintains current funding for disabled programs.