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Thoughts on State Funding

There is no question that our state is experiencing some of the most difficult financial times ever.   Accordingly, the need to examine service funding reductions and new sources of revenue is certainly now needed.    But, as our elected officials proceed with this difficult, but required process, can we  ask them that they use the same rationale for making cuts in human services as they would in any other area as well as rationale for spending government dollars?

We know how the proposed cuts will impact people living with a developmental disability.  Quite frankly, if not adjusted as presently approved by the House Appropriation Subcommittee, the cuts will be devastating to people living with developmental disabilities and their families.

But, how do we see the value in spending close to a billion dollars to rebuild the airport facilities and runways in Raleigh, but have to cut $1.9 billion in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)?

How is it that we approve of giving tax incentives to Apple computers which will now build a plant in North Carolina and hire possibly 100 or so people, but if we go ahead with the proposed cuts in the DHHS budget, we might end up eliminating close  to 60,000 jobs statewide?

How come we see the merit in using government funds to build sports stadiums with sky boxes that more often than not the poor can’t afford, but can never find the money to build more group homes for people with developmental disabilities?

How can we find money to repair and build new roads, but not always repair the life of a human being? And, do we want to be a state where we can find money to purchase Grandfather Mountain and the beauty around it, but have to tell an innocent child that he or she  can’t get needed health care?

To me, and many of us, the issue is priorities.  North Carolina’s pride is our ability to come together to help each other in times of crisis and pain.  Today, far too many are suffering and need our neighborly attention and help.

Let’s change the discussion on what we can do to what we should do as a state full of wonderful and caring people.  And let’s applaud and thank and make sure to support the courage of those elected officials who challenge us to work together to get thru this difficult time. In the end,when all is said and done, the history books will examine us not if we raised or didn’t raise taxes, but rather, I hope, on if we as  a state  conquered the difficult but required challenge of helping our neighbors and  those in need thru these difficult times.

I remain highly optimistic that we can accomplish this important and  required societal value. What do you think?

Scott Badesch,
Chief Executive Officer, Autism Society of North Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Alison Davis says:

    \”I remain highly optimistic that we can accomplish this important and required societal value. What do you think?\”

    I think we will not stop cuts to services and supports for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities UNLESS:

    Every single family member and caregiver of the over 50,000 people in NC who have autism use their dialing and typing fingers, their voices for those who cannot voice what they need, and their cars to get to Raleigh on:

    JUNE 17th for the developmental disabilities advocacy day. We all have stories to tell for our loved ones. And they must be heard by our state legislators and citizens if we are to have any hope for the future of our adults and children.

  2. I am remaining optimistic that these budget cuts will not be pushed through. Children are our future. They are the future leaders of our state and nation. If these cuts should go through, think of what it will do to our state and nation. So many people will suffer because of these cuts, especially our children. I depend on medicaid and the state providing services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, play therapy, and therapy from the Teach Center for my son. I believe my son has a great chance for a very bright future as long as he receives the help he needs. He is almost two and a half years old. Early intervention is the key. There are so many other children who need these special services. We cannot take these services away from our children. We need to provide everything we can and give our children all the help they need. Children deserves to have a bright future.

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  6. North Carolina State…

    There is no question that our state is experiencing some of the most difficult financial times ever. […]…

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