|Gov. Sam Brownback courtesy of The Capital Journal|
The Governor today announced a small sum for increased expenditures to serve persons currently on the unserved waiting list. Approximately $3 million is being proposed (all funds) which will be enough to serve 77 persons.
Let’s put it into this perspective. This is good news indeed for the 77 persons and their families who have been waiting so long who will now be served. But it is only a baby step when one considers more than 3000 persons are still waiting, and when one recognizes that this four term may end without a single new penny for service rates to raise the pay of community workers.
Having recently read the triumphant news that $30 million in budget savings had been found elsewhere, we have to ask why so little of that was directed to the growing crisis facing persons with I/DD and the eroding quality capacity of our underfunded I/DD service network.
Our waiting lists and the erosion of our reimbursement rates have been worsening for many years. So, this certainly is not a new problem to lay at this Governor’s feet, but today’s announcement certainly does not give us a new result. It is simply more of the same – very little offered when so much more is needed.