Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Disability rights group sues Corbett over cuts

Advocates for the disabled are suing the Corbett administation, saying cuts to services violates the law. The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania argues Corbett's proposal to consolidate funding for services for the mentally ill and mentally retarded into block grants runs counter to the Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities Act.

Disability rights group sues Corbett over cuts

Advocates for the disabled are suing the Corbett administation, saying cuts to services violates the law.

The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania argues Corbett's proposal to consolidate funding for services for the mentally ill and mentally retarded into block grants runs counter to the Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities Act.

The Corbett administration is cutting the budget by 20 percent and restructuring funding into block grants in an effort to squeeze  hundreds of millions of dollars in savings in the state Department of Public Welfare budget.

A Corbett spokesman said the suit was premature.

"The governor has put this on the table as a proposal, but everything is being negotiated and everything may change," Kelli Roberts told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. "So at this point in time, a lawsuit is frivolous."

Disability adovcates say reducing funding for home and community-based services will cost more in the long run.

"Ultimately this action will result in increased use of the most costly services such as emergency rooms and crisis centers," Debbie Plotnick, Director of Advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania told the newspaper.

"Undoubtedly, we will see increased numbers of people experiencing homelessness, incarceration and institutionalization, greatly increasing costs to taxpayers and wiping out any short-term savings."

 

 

 

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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