Services for the disabled cut again

05/08/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Services for people with developmental disabilities were among the many social programs that took a blow during the just concluded Florida legislation session.

Approximately $50 million in funding was cut in the new budget.

Debra Dowds, executive director for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, said these cuts come after similar ones last year, where a new system in distributing care was created.

The new tier system now creates a financial cap, broken down into four categories for those with developmental disabilities, based primarily on the intensity of their needs and where they live.

Dowds said she and other advocated worked hard during this recently concluded session to try to have the Legislature revise the dollar limit on such caps.

She says the biggest cuts this session were cuts to provider rates by 5½ percent. But for those who care about providing for the developmentally disabled, budget cuts are just one source of worrisome news.

The Palm Beach Post reports that nonprofit groups like the United Way say that because of the economy, they may not be able to provide the same amount of funding to social service agencies.

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