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Corbett’s 2012-13 Budget Proposal Disregards the Needs of Pennsylvania’s Physically and Mentally Disabled
Cuts totaling approximately $216 million could hurt services geared toward this vulnerable population
Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal clearly illustrates his utter disregard for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens – those living with physical and mental disabilities.
Services for these individuals have already been cut by approximately $138.6 million, now the governor is proposing another $216 million in cuts that could potentially cripple services that the mentally and physically disabled have come to depend upon and drive up the costs for these services as well.
|Department of Public Welfare Senate Budget Hearings
Overview of Cuts to Services for the Disabled:
Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Cuts
Intellectual Disabilities - Serves individuals with intellectual disabilities
- Waiver services -- cut by $18.1 million.
- Service definition and other policy changes -- cut by $17 million.
- A mid-year RAF (rate adjustment factor) was instituted -- cut of $60 million.
- No expansion of the ID waiver, which continues to ignore the 3,200 Pennsylvanian’s who are on the emergency waiting list, including individuals with aging parents, and who face immediate need for services.
- These programs serve individuals whose disability occurred before age 22, individuals with severe disabilities who are clinically eligible for nursing facility but choose services in the community and persons with traumatic brain injury who are eligible for nursing facility care but choose to live in the community.
Behavioral Health Services
18,800 people who do not qualify for MA in need of drug and alcohol or mental health treatment
- funding was cut by $4.3 million.
Attendant Care - Individuals age 18-59 must have a physical disability and be mentally alert and able to direct their own care.
These programs serve individuals whose disability occurred before age 22, individuals with severe disabilities who are clinically eligible for nursing facility, but choose services in the community and persons with traumatic brain injury who are eligible for nursing facility care but choose to live in the community.
Attendant Care - Individuals age 18-59 must have a physical disability, be mentally alert and able to direct their own care. These are people living and working in the community and just need a little assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, meal prep, etc.)
- These two community based programs that serve more than 15,000 Pennsylvanians with severe physical disabilities were cut by $31 million in State funds.
- Human Services Development Block Grant funding was reduced by $8.2 million. This program provides funding across a multitude of human service areas.
Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Proposed Cuts
Human Services Development Fund Block Grant (HSDF) - Assists counties in providing a wide range of human service programs.
- As proposed in the Governor’s Budget for 2012-13, seven programs and funds would merge into the new HSDF Block Grant.
- Programs to be merged would include Mental Health Services, Intellectual Disabilities Community, County Child Welfare Special Grants, Behavioral Health Services, Homeless Assistance, Act 152 Drug & Alcohol and HSDF.
Human Services Development Block Grant Proposal
Cuts Mental Health Community Services by $110 M
Cuts Intellectual Disability Community Services by $28.995 M
Cuts Behavioral Health Services by $9.582 M
Cuts Act 152 (Drug & Alcohol Services) by $2.945 M
Cuts HDSF funds by $2.991 M
- This merger will result in a reduction to these programs of $168 million or 20 percent.
General Assistance - Individuals who do not qualify for any other program but have temporary need.
- Eliminates the Cash Assistance for General Assistance program 97 percent of the 61,000 served in this program who receive approximately $200/ month are determined to be temporarily or permanently disabled. - $150 Million cut.
It is shameful that this Administration has chosen to balance the budget on the backs of Pennsylvania’s must vulnerable citizens instead of using available alternatives to solve the state’s economic woes.
|DAN GLEITER, The Patriot-News
|Linda Anthony, left, of Pottsville, from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, and Pam Auer, of Swatara Twp., a representative of ADAPT, a disability rights group, were denied access to the governor's office to schedule an appointment. 03/07/2012
Along with cutting funding to critical services for Pennsylvania’s disabled, Governor Corbett has also taken to barring disabled advocates from access to his office. In February, during a rally opposing budget cuts, these advocates – many of them in wheelchairs – were blocked from elevators leading up to the governor’s office suite by a barricade erected by Capitol police.
My senate colleagues and I plan to continue the fight against these egregious budget cuts. We will soon unveil our own budget priorities. In the meantime, I urge you to contact your state Senator and Representative, as well as Governor Corbett and let them know that you oppose these cuts.
IN THE NEWS
You can find out more specifics about the 2012-13 State Budget and provide your feedback on my website at senatorhughes.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes