Advocates Want Money Spent To Reduce Waiting Lists
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 17, 2003
TOPEKA, KANSAS--The Big Tent Coalition, made up of 80 organizations representing community-based supports for people with disabilities, has accused the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services of failing to use $11 million in state money as legislators intended -- to reduce the waiting lists for in-home supports.
The coalition released an open letter to Governor Kathleen Sebelius Thursday asking her to reduce the waiting lists now, and to earmark nearly $57 million in her next budget proposal for essential services.
"Seniors and persons with disabilities have a civil right to live in the most integrated setting, usually their own home," the letter stated.
While 10,000 Kansans with disabilities currently receive community-based services, another 2,700 are waiting for such supports to avoid being forced into nursing homes or other institutions.
"The clear legislative intent was, over $11 million in state general fund dollars and well over $20 million all funds were pumped into waivers specifically to move people off of waiting lists and into services," said Rocky Nichols, a Democrat from Topeka who served in the House last session until he resigned to become executive director of Kansas Advocacy and Protective Services Inc. "And that's what we're advocating -- that that promise be kept."
"Disabled holding Sebelius to word" Lawrence Journal-World