Advocates for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens are fighting back against a proposed budget that slashes social services that many people with intellectual disabilities, mental health problems, drug addictions, and other problems rely on just to get by.
Rather than funding separate services directly, the budget combines the state’s social service funding into a single block grant, ostensibly to provide greater flexibility to the local governments administering services — but then reduces the total amount by 20%.
Among the services cut will be supports for people with disabilities living in community settings, potentially setting the stage for the re-institutionalization of those who cannot support themselves — a tragic possibility after decades of fighting to secure community living arrangements for people with disabilities.
Many have pointed out that the budget, rather than actually saving taxpayer money, simply forces county commissioners to deal with the sudden reduction in funding — either by raising taxes or cutting other programs. Indeed, the cuts are expected to have the most drastic impact in poor communities with limited ability to collect revenue.
Please call your state representatives today and urge them not to put the weight of budget cuts on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.