Disability budget cuts

Concerns are growing for Michigan residents with disabilities following a staggering number of vetoes and funding shifts in Michigan's budget.

"That kind of an impact on our budget is really significant, it's over twenty five percent of our state dollars," said Terri Robbins, systems advocacy coordinator with the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan.

The disability network said over 9,000 Michiganders with disabilities could lose support services due to state budget cuts.

All because of state funding being shifted to other programs after budget talks resulted in vetoes and funding reallocation.

"We were actually slotted for an increase in 2020, of about a million and a half dollars and instead they took an additional two million away from what we've been budgeting," Robbins said.

She said they'd hoped legislators would come to a decision that would benefit their agency.

Without that additional funding, they'll be forced to cut back on services like employment, outreach and education for over 9,000 residents with disabilities here in Michigan.

"We do outreach at nursing facilities so that folks who don't want to live in nursing facilities can move back to community,” Robbins said. “A lot of education and we educated over 80,000 people last year."

But despite these cuts, Robbins is hopeful that their initial budget will be reinstated, due to the need for these services across Michigan.

And said they plan to continue their advocacy efforts with the governor's office and the legislature.

"Some people argue that when Governor Whitmer put all these vetoes in place that she opened the door for maybe a deeper conversation at the table so we're hoping that really takes place," she said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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