During a visit to Senator Robbins Harrisburg office in June, 2009, PA ADAPT activists were asked to leave his office and not return.
Robbins supported the cuts to vital human service programs that were established in SB 850 back in May, saying that the bill was fair and that cuts had to be made. When Robbins voiced his support for the cuts, he was asked if “he had any problem sentencing these people to death?”
Forcing people out of their homes and into nursing homes would undoubtedly lead to death for some of these individuals. Throwing them into a nursing home would preclude them from getting the level of care that they need to live.
Our Legislators need to ponder the long term effects that their political dealings have on the lives of real people. Throwing taxpaying citizens out for pointing out the potential results of morally irresponsible budget cuts is wrong.
In Greenville, the PA ADAPT activists asked for an apology from Senator Robbins for throwing them out and demanded that he pledge not to vote for and budget agreement that does not maintain level funding equal to last year’s budget for vital human service programs. In addition, the activists called on Robbins to help end the recently established waiting lists for the OBRA Waiver and Act 150.
The activists knew that Robbins would not be in Greenville. At first his staff said that Robbins would not be available all day for any phone conversation. After the press was called in to get the group’s message out to his constituents, a call was quickly arranged between Robbins and one of the activists who live in Robbins’ district.
Robbins gave a drawn out account of the history of the budget impasse. He said that he has always been supportive of the disabled and their home care. PA ADAPT disputes this. Robbins and other Republican Senators often attempt to cut funding for people who need the services the most.
Robbins declined to apologize for asking PA ADAPT to leave his office in June.
Later on Mike Hengst, a Robbins staffer in Harrisburg, spoke with individuals from the group regarding the budget issues. The conference call system at Robbins’ office was conveniently broken, preventing a conversation with the entire group.
The activists asked for a letter signed by Robbins pledging that he would not support any cuts to vital human services programs. Hengst promised to speak to the Senator about drafting a letter.
Will PA ADAPT get such a letter? Probably not!
Robbins, however, definitely knows PA ADAPT is watching him. He hasn’t seen the last of PA ADAPT.
You can view pictures of this action in the Western PA ADAPT Group Photo Album on Facebook: