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Corbett Cuts Said to Threaten Montco Economy

Shapiro, Richards join business and non-profit leaders in call to restore health and human services funding to state budget.

Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards joined State Representative Matt Bradford (D-70th) and non-profit and business representatives on the steps of the in Norristown on Thursday to denounce cuts to health and human services in the proposed Pennsylvania state budget for 2012-13.

Referencing the recent controversy over Governor Tom Corbett's statement that Pennsylvania women who didn't want to see a pre-abortion ultrasound should "close their eyes," Shapiro claimed that Corbett had "closed his eyes" to the plight of "the most vulnerable [people] in Pennsylvania."

"We're here to say to Governor Corbett and our friends in the legislature, open your eyes to the reality of what a 20 percent cut to human services would mean," Shapiro said.

"These proposed cuts are really going to damage our county and the people who live here," Richards said.

The press conference was called by The Greater North Penn Collaborative for Health and Human Services (GNPC), a regional consortium of non-profit and commercial entities in those business sectors that aims "to better service the region's at-risk residents by fostering joint problem solving, networking, and education" among its members.

Anne Frank, the group's president, warned that the effects of the proposed funding cuts would have widely felt effects as services that assist seniors, children, the mentally ill, and the disabled would be cut back.

"You, your friends, and your neighbors will be impacted by these service cuts," Frank said.

Elizabeth Vibber, the marketing director for Warrington-based accounting firm Bee, Bergvall & Co., sought to emphasize the local economic impact of the proposed cuts, noting that the GNPC's members generated $100 million in payroll and $100 million in expenses.

"They spend the majority of their dollars in the neighborhoods they serve," Vibber said. According to Vibber, non-profit organizations employ about 40,000 people in Montgomery County.

Bradford called the cuts "disproportionately deep" and said it was "unfathomable that anyone would try to implement" them.

All the speakers urged the public to contact their state legislators and voice opposition to the spending cuts.

"We must speak up for those who can't speak for themselves," said David Crosson, CEO of the Souderton-based Indian Creek Foundation, which provides services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Prior to the press conference, Crosson said he had already had to deal with extensive staffing cuts in recent years.

"There's only so much belt tightening you can do. If these cuts stay in the budget, I'm going to have to cut programs," Crosson said.

Denise Weygand May 04, 2012 at 02:59 PM
ITS AN OUTRAGE!!!!! NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR THE COMMENTS I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE REGARDING THIS PROPOSED BUDGET CUT!! MAKES ME SICK!!!!
Not narrow minded May 05, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Denise, Get real send back all the undocumented so we are not so overburdend and we would have enough for our people.......SEND THEM BACK AND SEND THEM BACK NOW!!!!
J hettinger May 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Providers are partly to blame here as well. Not all of them operate as efficiently as they should and have ruined it for those that do. Some cuts are a harsh reality so compromises need to be made on both side of this issue. However there has been waste and abuse in the system that needed controlled and some policy changes were needed to ensure people in need are served instead of continuing to allow some providers to "spend at will"
Denise Weygand May 06, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Your an idiot
Denise Weygand May 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I do agree J. H. providers are to blame as well. There is abuse in the system. However, there are many who need this help and also many who enjoy providing this help, as I work in the mental health/behavioral health and disabled field, both child and adult. Cutting funding drastically to these programs is a mistake as it will cut very necessary services to those in great need and also cause significant loss in employment!! And to the Not Narrow Minded person who ignorantly commented above- I made no mention of non US residents! Get yourself educated and read the budget before you make idiotic comments!!! Have a nice day!!

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