Well much has transpired on the state funding scene since my last blog. The Governor restored some cuts proposed by her administration in the area of Developmental Disabilities and she proposed or floated the idea of a .5 cent state sales tax to go to the voters in March.
Morningside contacted local groups to organize a legislative forum to describe the services people with developmental disabilities receive and the impact of loss of service would mean to our legislative contingent. This forum was presented on November 16th at River Ridge Covenant Church. We had over 150 people sign in but estimates placed the crowd at 200 – by far the largest turnout of this type ever in Thurston County. The people reporting on the services did an outstanding job and I was very proud of our staff for organizing this, and making all the necessary arrangements and setting up for the evening. A big thanks goes out to them. The ARC of Washington videotaped the event and a posted a clip on YouTube :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv-WI3TCs0Y).As the video points out only one legislator out of 9 attended and we thank Sam Hunt for attending…but what about the other 8? Well most were busy with either raising funds or attending their peers fundraising events. After all isn’t filling the war chest more important than talking to continuants in this day and age?
After last session and with this special session and the short session coming up in January it is my observation that legislators are becoming more callous, in my opinion, over what the loss of service would mean to this vulnerable population. Saying “well there just isn’t enough money” is disturbing especially when the state is taking in more money than last year…and the year before that. So let’s be honest it isn’t because the state doesn’t have enough money for this service. There is just too much demand for the dollars available. But why choose to cut funding to individuals with developmental living and working in the community and boot them to the street?
Well who knows for certain the workings under the dome and the complicated bureaucratic maze? Well when it comes down to it my hope is that compassionate hearts prevail in the discussion.
CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside
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