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Developmentally disabled crowd Scott’s office protesting cuts

by John Kennedy | April 6th, 2011

Dozens of developmentally disabled Floridians and their caregivers crowded Gov. Rick Scott’s office Wednesday, protesting a 15 percent rate-cut the Republican chief executive ordered last week to close a $170 million deficit.

The crowd came to the Capitol the same day the House and Senate were debating next year’s budget proposals — which seek to include enough dollars for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities that the rate reduction would be lifted.

 But for the closing three months of the current budget year, jobs are threatened and group homes may close, advocates said.

“Most of our staff makes less than $8-an-hour,” said Ross O’Banion, executive director of Angels Unaware, Inc., which operates eight group homes in the Tampa area. “They’re not in it for the money. And about 70 percent of the people who live in our homes have no parents, no nearby relatives, or they’ve been taken away from parents because of abuse.

“They have no safety net,” O’Banion said.

Advocates for those with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida and other disabilities organized Wednesday’s gathering at the Capitol, which drew hundreds from around the state.

But those at the rally were disappointed. No lawmakers emerged to address the crowd when it began gathering outside the Capitol. And outside Scott’s office, where they crowded the reception area and lined a Capitol corridor, supporters said a Scott aide stepped out only to tell them the governor was out of town — touting tourism in Palm Beach County.

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11 Responses to “Developmentally disabled crowd Scott’s office protesting cuts”

  1. Frank Says:

    So this is what it looks like when the GOP/Tea Party rule. Gov. Rick Scott, his Republican legislative majority and their Tea-Puppet allies have clearly demonstrated how heartless folks can become when they serve their deep-pocketed corporate masters. I was once a Republican … Never again.

  2. Tres Says:

    We were there today. I provide services to people with developmental disabilities in North Florida, and I can resolutely say that these cuts will result in thousands of people either suffering death or homelessness. My agency’s budget consists of well over 80% in direct-care salaries. Assuming that salaries are ONLY 80% (higher in actuality), if we were to cut all management, office space, phone, paper, and anything and everything administrative, we would still have to cut pay by 15% due to this 35% rate cut. Imagine what will happen when the people who are providing care make less than minimum wage with no overtime and no benefits, no supervision, no paper trail, and no one to turn too: People will go into crisis, people will die, and people who stood by saying nothing will wonder why no one was there to prevent this crisis. There is no mistake, this is a crisis. Every person in this state who receives community services, like those that we provide, has the right (the RIGHT under federal law) to receive a placement in an institution. Institiutional placement costs, on average, $80,000 dollars more per year than the services that we provide to keep these people living in their communities. Rick Scott is not saving any money here, in the end he is creating a health and safety crisis as well as a budget crisis. He is destroying a system that was created by President Reagan to reduce costs while improving care to people with disabilities. None of the people who provide community services expect to get rich. We struggle to pay our bills along with everyone else. But cutting funding to local employers this drastically and without any notice will result in utter disaster to some of the most innocent people in our state.

  3. TallyNo Says:

    Funny, just over a year ago these people were being told just how bad Obamacare would be for them. Now a fresh helping of Scottcare should make them better right? What a horrible man.

  4. Scott is a Crook Says:

    Where are all the Fascist PB Tea Party Thugs now? Probably stomping old people in the streets

  5. Barbara Says:

    My sister got notice today that her daughter will be kicked out of her group home in 30 days.

    Rick Scott has no heart nor soul.

  6. Scott Says:

    Inviting the Palm Beach Post to check out the disability protest against Rick Scott tomorrow (Thursday) in Ft. Myers. Governor Scott seems to like picking on the little guy first when it comes to trying to balance “his” budget. We in Ft.Myers think he needs to balance his thinking first before he tries to balance his budget. Didn’t he learn ANYTHING from as CEO in the Columbia Medicare fraud fiasco a few years ago?
    Being a big bully to the little guy is only going to eventually get your butt kicked again there Rick. Was it TRULY an E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y???????????????????

  7. Lynn Says:

    Are you serious?! He was out of office touting tourism in PBC while disabled people and their caregivers where at the mansion to address him. He makes me sick. You’ve got big brass ones Mr Scott.

  8. AK Says:

    Scott bought the governorship with money he stole from Medicare and Medicaid. You can bet he will get that money back during his 1 term. His cuts in budget demonstrate his lack of compassion and ignorance. Republicans ALWAYS cut the programs for the most needy instead of at the top. These proposed cuts are a travesty. Send around a petition for recall. Florida made a mistake voting for him. Let’s rectify that.

  9. Kevin Says:

    If the Governor won’t see his constituents in his office then take the protest’s to his place of business. Picket the Solantic Urgent care offices (There is one on the south west corner of Okeechobee blvd and I-95) and cram his waiting areas with developmentally disabled people in wheel chairs. Start documenting the death and despair and hold him accountable as well as the people who voted for this heartless monster. I want to know what the Tea Lady thinks of this article. Is the Governor listening to and doing the will of the people in this case? Is this the change in government you asked for? If so I feel sorry for you and your family. I suppose these people should just stop their constant drooling, get out of those wheel chairs and get a J.O.B job right? You know, pull them selves up by their boot straps and be productive Americans and quit suckling at the teat of the tax payer. This is just completely disgusting and the man will no doubt burn in hell for this one.

  10. Big Johnson Says:

    Looks like the Death Panels that Sarah Palin warned us about are alive and well in Mr. Scott’s administration.

  11. Margie Says:

    I note that the PBP states they want to avoid comments that are obscene, hateful, racist or otherwise inappropriate. Isn’t it sad that our Governor and Florida Legislature choose to engage in policies that cover just about all those things. Remember, this was done while this man added staff to HIS office and wants tax cuts for corporations. His questionable business practices prior to being elected, and even now with his Solantic clinics…s’cuse me..the ones he had to give up to be handed over to his wife. The sad part is that we knew all this when some of us elected him…how in the world that happened, is the mystery of the century. We have to blame the voters…we get what we vote for. And, our local news reported there wasn’t so much as an “I’m sorry, but…” His comment was that the protests were POLITICAL!! Brings tears to your eyes, doesn’t it?!

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