Blake: Proposed Budget Puts Social Service Providers on Life Support

SCRANTON, February 21, 2012 – – In a meeting between state Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and more than a dozen local leaders of social service organizations the Senator was briefed on the adverse impacts not only of Governor Corbett’s proposed budget cuts but of other policies advanced by the Corbett Administration through its Department of Public Welfare that seriously threaten these organizations’ ability to serve persons with disabilities and their families.

[frame align=”right”][/frame]“While the enormity of the proposed budget cuts is glaring enough on paper, it is not until I hear from the people behind the numbers that I begin to realize the true consequences of the policy and budget decisions of this Administration. I have had dozens of entreaties from human service providers that have revealed the breadth and depth of the cuts proposed and the changes in policy that are serving to undermine the financial sustainability of several, critically important non-profit organizations that serve our region,” Blake said. “I opposed the Welfare Code that passed last June and I continue to oppose its provisions because it conferred too much power on the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW). We are now seeing the effects of these unchecked powers. People in need and, importantly, the people who work so diligently every day to ensure basic dignity for persons with disabilities, are being hurt.”

The meeting was an opportunity for Sen. Blake to hear first-hand the effect that continued budget cuts have not only on the social service organizations, but on the levels of service they can afford to provide to individuals and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Participating in the meeting, Gerald Langan, President/CEO of Goodwill Industries of NEPA said that cuts to service organizations “hurt people.”

“Every year we are forced to deal with more reductions in state funding, and this year those cuts are even more drastic,” Langan said. “It is unfair to continue to balance the budget on the backs of these people that need assistance.”

Other participants in the meeting included representatives from Allied, Step by Step, Arc and many other area service providers.

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