Hundreds Of Advocates Protest Schwarzenegger Budget Limits
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 12, 2003
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--More than 600 disability rights advocates gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday to protest Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to limit services for Californians with developmental disabilities.
Schwarzenegger, who for years has been a vocal supporter of Special Olympics and other disability programs, has proposed suspending the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act -- the 35-year-old law that currently guarantees certain community-based services for about 200,000 people with developmental disabilities. The new governor says that placing a cap on the services, while creating a waiting list for those not currently served, is needed to help fill a multi-billion dollar budget gap.
Schwarzenegger has also proposed saving $250 million over two years by eliminating art and music therapy, equestrian therapy, camp experiences and respite care.
Disability advocates and others are particularly angered that these and other services are being cut at the same time that Schwarzenegger is repealing a vehicle license fee -- amounting to a $7.4 billion tax cut.
"Governor Schwarzenegger did not reveal the details of his spending plan during the election campaign," said Shirley Dove, a parent and President of the Arc of California, in a press statement. "The reason has now become obvious: Californians would have rejected such a mean-spirited plan."
Governor's proposed cuts draw fire (Sacramento Bee)
"People with developmental disabilities protest at Capitol tree lighting" (Press release)
Governor's Ax Hangs Over My Disabled Child (Los Angeles Times)
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