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Information on Legislative Budget Exercise

For the past several years as state law allows, the Florida Legislature has required each state agency to participate in a budget cutting exercise. Each spring during legislative committee weeks, agency heads are required to present possible cuts to their agency’s budget.

Governor’s Budget Proposal Supports People with Disabilities
 
Tallahassee – Jim DeBeaugrine, Director for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), today announced some highlights included in the Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget recommended by Florida Governor Charlie Crist. This proposed budget will allow Florida’s most vulnerable citizens to continue to receive services in their community. APD serves about 35,000 people with developmental disabilities each year helping them to participate in activities like going to work or learning life skills.

Governor Crist is proposing $1.16 billion for APD’s budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11. The agency’s budget was $1.08 billion in Fiscal Year 2009-10 and $1.06 billion in Fiscal Year 2008-09.

Some of the main APD budget recommendations are:

$3 million to add dental services to Tier 4 of the Home and Community Based Services Waiver. Currently, customers on Tier 4 cannot receive dental services through the waiver. $12.7 million to serve people on the waiver waiting list. An additional $100 million for the Medicaid waiver to eliminate the projected deficit over the current and upcoming fiscal years due to delays in fully implementing the tier waiver system.Director DeBeaugrine said, “The state of Florida has a duty to help its most vulnerable citizens. These budget recommendations will assist the Agency for Persons with Disabilities with continuing its good work on behalf of Floridians with disabilities. Additionally, by eliminating the APD deficit that keeps rolling forward each year, we will help ensure the agency will be able to serve individuals in the future.”

“We appreciate the governor’s support of APD and the people we serve. These budget recommendations will make a difference in the lives of thousands of people with developmental disabilities in our state. I look forward to working with Governor Crist and legislators to move these new recommendations into action,” said DeBeaugrine.

The agency annually serves about 35,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities of mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information on the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES.

(source:  The Agency For Persons With Disabilities, Florida)

We Need Your Help!
 
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day 2010 is March 16, at the 2nd Floor Rotunda of the Capitol, in Tallahassee, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Visit your legislators. Attend a press conference. Over 20 booths! Come and stand up for your rights! Be counted!
 

 

 On February 17, Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Jim DeBeaugrine was required to present a 15 percent budget cutting exercise to a Senate committee. DeBeaugrine stated that he did not recommend any of the reductions to the agency’s budget. He was quoted in the media in a column by Jim Saunders with Health News Florida: “Nevertheless, Jim DeBeaugrine, director of the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities, made clear Wednesday that he didn’t want to have to carry out the cuts he proposed to the Senate committee. After a lawmaker asked about the effects of one proposed cut dealing with programs that developmentally disabled people attend during the day,” DeBeaugrine replied, ‘In all honesty, it would be very drastic.'”

 APD supports Governor Crist’s budget recommendations which provide for a slight increase in the agency’s budget.

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