|To the editor:
The governor released his FY-2013 budget recommendations during his State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. His budget calls for $508 million in reductions and savings for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2012. There are few reductions proposed specifically related to disability services. Some of the governor's proposed reductions include:
- $192 million in Medicaid savings, with no changes in covered services or eligibility;
- $89 million reduction for 4-year higher education institutions;
- $29 million in reduced staff and administrative costs;
- $17 million reduction for community and technical colleges;
- $2 million reduction in local public health agency grants.
Other changes include increased revenue through a tax amnesty plan, additional debt collections and other revenue efficiencies. There were no proposals for significant revenue increases in the Governor's proposals such as an increase in the tobacco tax or applying sales tax to internet sales. The Governor did propose a $2.2 million increase in the Partnership for Hope Program, to be matched with $2.2 million in local funds and $7.7 million federal funds.
The legislature will obviously have its own ideas about some of the proposals. Several House Appropriation Committees will hear overviews of departmental budgets next week, including Education Appropriations scheduled to hear the DESE budget presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. in House Hearing Room 1.
Andrea D. Buening, special projects coordinator, The Independent Living Center, Inc., Joplin
For a timeline on Independent Living Centers go here.