Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office is calling for the privatization of 40 group homes and other programs for people with intellectual disabilities and the elimination of 605 related staff positions in state government.
Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Morna Murray submitted the fiscal year 2017 spending plan Tuesday to Ben Barnes, Malloy's budget director and secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. The plan is projected to save nearly $70 million.
In a letter to Barnes, Murray says the plan "follows national trends" for reducing publicly run residential and institutional facilities and moving clients into the care of "highly qualified, private nonprofit providers." She says DDS will work to minimize disruption to affected clients.
"We are in a new economic reality and we must continue to adapt. As the world changes, we must change with it and state government must provide high-level services more efficiently. As we work to transform state government, these transitions will undoubtedly be difficult for the families and the employees, but they are nevertheless necessary to move government into the future," Barnes said in a statement on Tuesday.
DDS is urging private agencies to hire the displaced state workers.
SEIU 1199 said "governor’s proposal would decimate our state's ability to provide services for the disabled."
”Services for the intellectually and developmentally should be a core function of our state. If the state can find $22 million to give to the world's largest hedge fund than surly they can find the money to keep the disabled in the only home many of them have ever known. We urge the Governor to find a better way than balancing the budget on the backs of the disabled," SEIU 1199 Communications Director Jennifer Schneider said in a statement on Tuesday.
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