PetWill Radio

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tax Cuts in Tallahassee for the Disabled

A few weeks ago, Governor Rick Scott announced $170 million in spending cuts that would affect the Agency for Personal with Disabilities and their ability to make payments to service providers. An estimated 30,000 Floridians with sever developmental disabilities receive services that help them live in their homes.

As a result of the announced cuts, hundred of individuals representing advocates for the disabled converged on Florida's Capital to voice their disapproval to Governor Scott.

In response, the Governor's office issued the following statement:

Providers To Get Full Rates Restored,
At Least For The Moment

Reaches deal with House and Senate to release funds for services

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today announced an agreement with the House and Senate that would provide an infusion of cash that will prevent the Agency for Persons with Disabilities from discontinuing services.

“I thank Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon for joining me to protect the community APD serves, and I applaud the hard work of the staff at APD for finding a solution to this problem,” Governor Scott stated. “After years of deficit spending that put these services at risk, I’m glad that we’re taking steps to finally bring responsible financial management to this agency and the people they serve.”

After an Inspector General report disclosed that the agency would likely run out of cash to pay for needed services in early May due to an unprecedented $174 million budget shortfall, Governor Scott issued an emergency order stretching funds through the end of the fiscal year to avoid any cutoff of services.

The Governor’s Office worked closely with the Legislature to find a way to provide immediate funding so that the Emergency Order could be lifted and to find a long term solution to the problem. Governor Scott also continues to work with the Legislature and members of the disability community to develop strategies to prevent future shortfalls in APD's budget.

Today’s deal lifts a hold on approximately $30 million that will cover the agency’s provider costs through the end of the fiscal year.

From: Governor's Press Office

Thanks to everyone who participated in getting these cuts reversed. We need to support our most vulnerable citizens, providing them with the services they need to live independently.

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