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Local News

March 9, 2013

Providers for disabled fight cuts

(Continued)

“This is not the right way for the state to meet its budget challenges,” he said. “Hopefully they will come up with a better way.”

Springbrook Chief Executive Officer Patricia Kennedy said it’s the responsibility of the providers’ leadership to make everyone aware of the cuts.

Springbrook has “a heartfelt commitment to serve people with special needs” through family-centered programs, according to its mission statement.

“We are responsible for people who need a lot of help and support,” Kennedy said.

The lawmakers she has met with have been very supportive, she said, and more meetings are scheduled.

If Springbrook has to deal with the $1.2 million in proposed cuts on top of other cuts in recent years, it will have a ripple effect in the economy as well as in the communities served, Kennedy said.

“We have come up with a contingency plan that will support the people we serve and our employees,” she said.  However, she said she was not prepared to be more specific at this point.

Springbrook is organizing its employees and board of directors to contact legislators and others to express their concerns, she said.

ARC Otsego employs about 300 people and provides services to 500 people with developmental disabilities and their families in a variety of settings, community relations director Lynne Sessions said. It stands to lose $700,000-$800,000 if the cuts go through. She was hoping people would contact their elected representatives to restore the funds  

Although many agencies are being cut during difficult economic times, “we serve people who need this support to live their lives,” she said.

The alternative for some would be institutional care, which can be more expensive, she added.

“As a society, we have an obligation to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves,” she said.

 

 

 

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