State Budget Cuts Are Illegal, Community Advocates Claim
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 7, 2003
TOPEKA, KANSAS--Community-based services for people with developmental disabilities have not kept up with the levels required under a 1996 state law.
That's what a group of agencies claimed in a suit filed Friday against the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Capital-Journal reported.
The suit, filed in Shawnee County District Court, asked Judge Franklin Theis to stop the state from implementing emergency budget cuts ordered last year by Governor Bill Graves.
The agencies said that the state had under-funded community-based services over the past seven years by at least $300 million and that services in the current year are underfunded by $88 million.
The 1996 Developmental Disabilities Reform Act was aimed at helping people with developmental disabilities to live more independently in the community.
"The level of funding already is illegal," said Jim Kaup, an attorney for the statewide advocacy organization InterHab, which is leading the suit. "If it didn't meet the legal requirement, the cuts only make it worse."