Worried that today’s budget forecast predicting higher state deficits will mean further cuts to programs for Minnesotans with disabilities, The ARC of Minnesota urged state leaders to find a ways to balance the state budget that will protect the most vulnerable.
That means increased state revenues, not just cuts, said Steve Larson, the group’s public policy director.
“We need a balanced approach to solving our recurring fiscal crises that does no harm to people with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable citizens,” Larson said in a statement. “We need to spend state funds more efficiently so we get the maximum use of every dollar. We also need to put increased revenues on the table. Relying on accounting shifts and budget cuts is not a solution and hurts people with disabilities.”
Larson said previous budget cuts this decade have cost more than $500 million in loss of services and increase in service fees for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
The Arc of Minnesota is a nonprofit group advocating for persons with developmental disabilities and their families. It has worked to find ways to save the state money and give people with developmental disabilities and their families more control over the funding they receive for their service — such things as community housing for people with disabilities and services in the family home so parents have more flexibility in meeting the needs of their children.