The great news is the House Ways and Means Committee re-inserted protective language last week in the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 state budget that would protect vital sheltered workshops from closure.
Representative Brian Dempsey, chair of the committee, who was instrumental last year in keeping the workshops open, has renewed his commitment to those facilities in this year’s budget go-round with the administration.
The bad news is that the House Ways and Means budget continues to squeeze state-run programs for the developmentally disabled and maintains the administration’s disproportionate increase in proposed funding for the corporate, provider-run group home system. But let’s look at the good news first.
Last spring, after a lobbying campaign by advocates of the workshops, Dempsey placed language in the House Ways and Means version of the current-year budget, stating that DDS “shall not reduce the availability or decrease funding for sheltered workshops serving persons with disabilities who voluntarily seek or wish…
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