Protesters Arrested At Capitol, Advocacy Group Sues State Over
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 31, 2003
SALEM, OREGON--Wednesday night four protesters were arrested when they refused to leave the lobby of the state Capitol building.
The four were protesting $310 million of cuts in state services from the current budget which ends July 1. They were part of a group of 11 demonstrators that rallied earlier in the day to protest the cuts.
Frederic Burger from Portland was one of the four arrested.
"We are in this for the long haul," said Burger, who has diabetes and uses a wheelchair. "We have no choice. This is our lives."
The next day, an advocacy organization filed suit demanding the state restore funds for thousands of seniors and Oregonians with disabilities who have recently lost medical assistance.
The suit, filed by the Oregon Advocacy Center (OAC), claims that the state is violating federal law by eliminating the program for people considered medically needy.
"The process by which this program was eliminated was not authorized by law," said Bob Joondeph, OAC's executive director. "When Oregon decided to accept a whole bunch of federal money to run its Medicaid program, it agreed to have a medically needy program."