Lack of state budget cuts services to families - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lack of state budget cuts services to families

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The failure to pass a state budget is causing pain for many families, and while state lawmakers argue what to do, parent of children with disabilities are losing valuable care.

Many families now don’t know where to turn.

Margaret Osiecki isn't sure what to do, as she has two sons with downs syndrome.

Matthew is 21, and his mother was just told he can't continue going to his day program.

"I try to continue with him during the summer so he won't regress. I can't do it in September, that's it,” Osiecki said.

Because the state doesn't have a budget, the governor had to issue an executive order, which is a bare-bones plan causing deep cuts to social services.

HARC, which runs programs in the Hartford area, has turned away 25 families.

"These are parents who are already struggling in many ways, in ways many without children with disabilities can never understand,” said Andrea Barton Reeves, of HARC, Inc.

The state has put six furlough days in place, which cuts back on reimbursement at private non-profits, which means some of the money for care workers is coming from the companies own pockets.

Tracey Walker says it's cost her $11,000 so far.

"It shifts costs from what would have been covered in day programs to residential costs and I am not reimbursed for that,” Walker said.

The governor pushed for a mini budget, which would have given lawmakers more time and would have avoided these deep cuts.

"Many cuts in social services, if we passed a mini budget would have gone from 10 or 11 percent to about 2. That's why I tried to do that,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said.

Osiecki feels if lawmakers understood her situation maybe they'd feel a sense of urgency on passing a budget.

"We are begging everyone here to put yourself in our shoes. What would you do if these children were in your home and what you would do,” Osiecki said.

It is unclear how long this will go on. Malloy said we may not have a budget until September or October.

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