Families Impacted by Governor’s Cuts to Developmental Services Speak Out

October 1, 2015

Hartford – Today Republican lawmakers joined families impacted by Governor Malloy’s recent budget cuts to renew their call for a special session to restore funding for health care and social services. The governor’s $103 million worth of rescissions released last month include reductions to programs that provide direct services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At a press conference this morning, Senate and House Republicans welcomed parents from CT DDS Families First to the Capitol to share their stories. The group includes parents and family members of those in need of care who will be hurt by cuts to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Speakers included Walter Glomb, a father from Vernon, and his son Nick; Denise and Frank King from Lebanon and their grandson Matthew; Dawn DeMatteo, a mother from East Haven; and Lauralyn Lewis, a mother from Old Lyme, and her son Justin.

The families will be impacted by cuts made to the following programs:

  • Employment Opportunities and Day Services – Funding in this account pays for all day program services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Community Residential Services – Funding in this account covers all residential expenditures for individuals with developmental disabilities including transitioning individuals from the Southbury Training School to other less costly residential programs.
  • Cooperative Placements Program – This program funds court ordered placements for individuals in need and mainly funds private providers.
  • Voluntary Services/Behavioral Services – This program provides services to individuals with significant behavioral issues.

As of September, 2,102 individuals were on the DDS waitlist; this is a group of people in need of services who have yet to receive any from the state due to lack of funding and capacity.

The governor’s new rescissions and funding holdbacks include a $3 million cut from employment opportunities and day services, a $1.8 million cut from community residential services, a nearly $700,000 cut from the Cooperative Placements Program, and a nearly $300,000 cut from voluntary and behavioral services.

In total, combining the governor’s rescissions with the cuts made in this year’s budget, compared to the funds requested by the agency, we see a $10.8 million cut to employment opportunities and day services, a $10.7 million cut to community residential services, a nearly $1.3 million cut to the Cooperative Placements Program, and a $3.5 million cut to voluntary and behavioral services.

“Republicans are united in our opposition to the governor’s cuts to programs that help some of the most vulnerable individuals in our state. The central role of government should be to protect and empower citizens. Reducing these services so drastically year after year skirts the state’s basic responsibility to help those in need. These rescissions are devastating for families waiting for care,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “While the legislature was successful in restoring many of the debilitating cuts the governor initially proposed in February, this round of cuts sets us back again.

Governor Malloy initially proposed much larger cuts to DDS in his February budget proposal including cutting voluntary and behavioral services by over 60%. In the negotiated budget that passed the legislature, many of these funds were restored.

“I hope state leaders realize the brutal effects of these cuts on Connecticut families. Clearly, we all saw the damage that would be caused by the governor’s initial cuts. Now that more cuts are back on the table we need a special session to completely rethink our state’s priorities. We all need to be a part of a much larger conversation to move Connecticut forward without hurting those most in need,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby).