Funds back in Budget for Developmental Disability
Very good day down here in Cheyenne!! Representative Elaine Harvey, Rep. Mike Madden, and I were successful in arguing on the Wyoming House of Representatives Floor this afternoon to get the developmental disability funding reinstated. This has been a hard fight and we are not out of the woods yet.
As some of you probably recall from previous legislative sessions, I fight every year to get money into the developmental disability program. Some years I have been successful and others I have not. The vote today was 35 to 23.
Last year the Governor did a 10% cut of the developmental disability budget. This has caused considerable problems within the developmental disability community. I met with parents of children with DD before I left Jackson and told them I would do what I could do. They are greatly concerned that without this money, some group homes may have to close down. The 10% cut translated to $8.2 million. The appropriations committee had already put back in 5% which translates to $4.1 million. This amendment today added back in the other 5% which was another $4.1 million.
Rep. Madden gave a great speech in support of the amendment quoting from the Wyoming Constitution that we have a duty to provide for those that can not provide for themselves. It was a good argument and very persuasive.
We still have a battle ahead. There will probably be an attempt to rip out the funding on 3rd reading on Thursday. And then if it does pass the House of Representatives, we will still have to hold it in conference committee with the Senate committee.
But at least we are moving positively forward.