Monday, July 27, 2009

Good Social Programs Make Economic Sense

A Sacramento Bee opinion piece by Dave Perez, the father of a son with multiple disabilities.

Like any child, our son, Sam, brings our family lots of joy, but more than his share of hard work. How many 17-year-old boys require 24-hour care, are tube-fed and incontinent?

All expecting parents know there is no guarantee of a healthy child. When disability occurs, we need to be responsible, but what happens if the parents of a child can't meet all of their child's needs, or if they become disabled themselves? These scenarios occur much more often then you might think.

There are no easy answers. Already this year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature cut $100 million from programs that serve Californians with cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.

That $100 million cut followed a 10 percent hit on programs that help people with disabilities find jobs and a 3 percent cut on most of their other programs. Now, they are cutting another $234 million, with most of that coming from programs that serve disabled people in their communities.

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