House Minority Leader blasts Republican budget plans

03/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
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As the Florida Legislature copes with a $2½-billion deficit, lawmakers have proposed slashing $1-billion out of the Human Services budget.

Among the programs on the cutting list include $170-million from the Medically Needy program, which pays medical bills for people in need of transplants or who have catastrophic illness and cannot qualify for Mediciaid.

Also on the chopping block would be plans to end vision, hearing and dental care for 46,000 seniors covered by Medicaid, and eliminating hospice care for 8,000 terminally ill Medicaid patients.

The Department of Children and Families is also on the list to lose 700 full-time jobs.

Dan Gelber, the House Democratic leader from Miami Beach, calls the proposed cuts immoral.

The proposed budget cuts by the Florida House are not definitive. The Senate still needs to come up with plan on how to deal with $2½-billion budget deficit, before they would then try to come up with a compromise bill.

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