I’ve been following Utah’s Legislative Session during the ( newly named) Social Services sessions.
Parker’s local legislative Representative, John Dougall is on this committee.Â So isÂ the newly elected Representative Holly Richardson, and Senator Dan Liljenquist.
The revised Utah Base Budget Recommendations includes the following:
*Eliminating Motor Transportation Payment for the 46 transportation providers.Â These providers would no longer be reimbursed for the 1,400 people with disabilities that they transport.
*Reduce or eliminate some respite codes. Notice how nobody mentions which codes?Â Or how many?Â And nobody mentions that nursing hours are tied into Utah’s Acuity Grid which decides who makes…..or gets kicked off of a Waiver?
*Limit Optional (state funded rather than federally mandated) coverage of Transplant Surgeries to achieve 20% savings. Hello, Arizona, where people are dying after being kicked off the transplant list.
*Eliminate funding provided to remove an enrollment cap for Nursing Home Alternatives. It’s just so much easier if you die where they want you to.
*No Pregnant Women Over 21 to Receive Dental and Vision Services in Medicaid.
* DHS- reduce state pass through to local Area Agencies on Aging
*DOH- (Am I the only one who thinks Homer Simpson when I see these three letters?) Eliminate Optional Hospice Services. Again, providing just the federal government’s required services.
*DHS-Â Reduce mental health services for non-Medicaid eligible children and adults.
*DOH- Limit Optional Personal Care Services.
As the SLTRIB reports:
“But lawmakers say they have to cut budgets somewhere â€” and all have consequences..”
Yet, may I present some of the bills being offered up in this time of SEVERE FINANCIAL CRISIS:
Zoo Appropriations: Money going to the zoo to keep their babies alive.
Over a million dollars of tax payer money to be given to the U of U to open up a vet school. Because there aren’t enough vets in southern Utah.Â Hello?Â If a vet wanted to work in Southern Utah they would, even without having a vet school in Utah.
But my all time favorite money blowing bill is authored by Utah’s very own Carl Wimmer.
Wimmer’s bill?Â To name an Official State Firearm. At the measly cost of $10,000 dollars PLUS arguing time on the legislative floor.
That same $10,000 could go a very long way towards a life saving vent.
Now these are the items on the base budget, which means that starting from the top, some of them may be added back into the budget using surplus tax collections in the ball park of $210 million.
I honestly believe that John Dougall, Parker’s local legislative Representative, is fighting to keep the respite hours intact.
But I also know that the more these Senators and Legislators hear from people, the better.
Especially from people who love Parker.
And while he’s still got that vent to keep him breathing.
You can find Representative Dougall, Representative Richardson, Senator Liljenquist, and Representative Wimmer on Facebook.
Or if you prefer more traditional channels:
If you are a parent of a kid with special needs in the state of Utah, you may want to drop one or all of these guys a note.