Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Smaller Cuts Still Sting for Texas Center

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Legislature has cut $15 billion out of its budget for the next two years, affecting virtually every state agency and almost all state services. Bluebonnet Trails, a mental health services provider based in Williamson County, has lost more than a quarter of its funding.

At the beginning of the legislative session, Andrea Richardson, Bluebonnet Trails' executive director, was pleasantly surprised when the budget reductions she thought would force Bluebonnet to cut services to 2,000-plus individuals never materialized. But she was soon unpleasantly surprised by the dramatic cuts to programs serving people with developmental disabilities.

“We’re looking at cutting about 470 persons from our services list,” Richardson says.

That's far fewer than 2,000, but it’s little consolation to those on the sharp end of the budget blade, like Joe Goode.

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