Randolph, Mass. — The Senate’s proposed FY10 budget, which includes $115 million in cuts to disability services, directly impacts the health and well-being of 21,000 individuals with disabilities and their families. The budget was released recently by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
As one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits, May Institute has a long history of serving some of the state’s most disabled and behaviorally challenged individuals, and understands the potentially devastating consequences of the proposed cuts.
These cuts are not the best course of action. They would have negative and long-term repercussions, including:
Dr. Walter P. Christian, President and CEO of May Institute, played an important role in the de-institutionalization process in Massachusetts and across the country. “I trust we will not be so short-sighted as to cut the community-based programming we put in place decades ago in order to respond to a financial situation that is much more short-term,” said Christian. “We must send a send a strong message about our collective commitment to ensuring services for those least able to provide for themselves.”
Parents across the Commonwealth, like Marilyn Welsh, share Dr. Christian’s concerns about the dire consequences of the proposed budget cuts. Marilyn’s son, Andrew, attends one of May Institute’s Day Habilitation programs. “Andrew relies on these services to keep him safe and healthy, and to increase his quality of life and self-worth,” says Welsh. “Without this program, his safety and well-being would be in jeopardy.”
The challenges we face in Massachusetts in this current fiscal climate are sobering, and the projected revenue shortfall requires immediate and dramatic action on the part of our legislators.
May Institute believes, however, that the solution lies in responsible cuts coupled with increased state revenues. Balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable citizens in the Commonwealth is not the responsible course of action. It is critical that the Senate restore full funding to these crucial services.
About May Institute
May Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness, and behavioral healthcare needs. Since its founding over 50 years ago, May Institute has evolved into an award-winning network that serves over 25,000 individuals and their families annually. With corporate headquarters in Randolph, Mass., the Institute operates more than 200 service locations.
For information about May Institute, call 800-778-7601 or visit www.mayinstitute.org.