Monday, May 12, 2008

Julia's Musings: Governor Mike Easley Rolls Out His Budget Requests

Today Governor Mike Easley released his budget request for the short session.  His recommended budget adjustments for fiscal year 2008-2009 come to $21.5 billion.

Included in the budget is $68 million for enhanced services for mental health.  The funds are to be used to expand local crisis system services, improve clinical staffing rations in psychiatric hospitals and enhance facility management systemwide. 

For persons with developmental disabilities and their families, the good news is that the START Model is included in the local crisis response system. The funding for START will be to create intervention teams for persons with developmental disabilities through the creation of regional DD teams and group home beds for crisis respite.

The bad news is that again a budget was released with no mention of the need to fund more CAP/MR-DD slots.  The Governor's budget also ignores the growing wait list for these crucial CAP/MR-DD slots.  Currently in North Carolina we have over 4,000 families waiting for a way to access services for their children with developmental disabilities.  Without State funding there will be NO new slots to serve these families.

To the leaders in North Carolina we ask this question, "How long could you wait for services if your child had a developmental disability?" Could your family wait one year, two years or maybe five years to access a CAP/MR-DD slot?  

It's time for leadership from the Governor's office to the State House to help these families by funding new CAP/MR-DD slots.

Read more about the funding of the Mental Health Services at WRAL.

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