Protect Pennsylvania's Safety Net

Governor Corbett's proposed budget eliminates state funding ($842 million) designated for seven county human service programs, including community mental health and developmental program services, and establishes a block grant for human services that would reduce the current outlay to the counties by $168 million, of which 91 percent ($153.08 million) is funding for behavioral health and intellectual disability and autism services.

The proposed budget cuts $153.08 million from behavioral health and intellectual disability and autism services - $123.08 million from behavioral health services and $30 million from intellectual disability and autism services. These proposed cuts target the truly needy and hurt individuals whose care has long been the responsibility of the state- dating back to the founding of the Commonwealth.

As a result, services to some of our state's most vulnerable citizens will be significantly impacted. These impacts will include:
* termination of services to those who need them
* an increase in admissions to state centers, community hospitals, prisons and the homeless population
* the reduction or elimination of management and administrative oversight of services required to meet all regulatory and quality expectations
* the reduction of employee wages and benefits
* inability for providers to serve new individuals

It is imperative that the legislature and the administration do everything in its power to stop these proposed budget cuts and restore funding to Pennsylvania's behavioral health, intellectual disability, and autism services.

We the undersigned are deeply concerned about the proposed cut to services to individuals with behavioral health, intellectual disability and autism needs. These proposed funding cuts pose a significant risk to the quality of lives of some of our state's most vulnerable citizens. It will also greatly impact the families of individuals with these individuals as well as the providers that serve them. As the 2012/13 budget process continues, it is imperative that services for these individuals be adequately funded. We also ask that a meaningful stakeholder input option be put in place as this major shift in public policy was developed with no stakeholder participation. While it is recognized that these are difficult times for the state's budget, these proposed cuts are excessive and devastating to the mental health and intellectual disability systems. These vulnerable people should not be sacrificed during this time of more limited resources. They should be among the first to be protected.  By signing this petition, we ask you to do the following:

* Oppose the block grant
* Oppose the cuts
* Restore General Assistance benefits
* Be transparent

Thank you for your time and consideration.  

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