Where is the rest of the promised $85 million, or at least $45 million, for the community system? All the community system gets next year, after Fernald is shut, is a measly $2.7 million increase???
If I were a member of the Massachusetts Association of Developmental Disability Providers, which has wholeheartedly supported the facility closures, I'd be feeling a little betrayed right now. In fact, here's a quote, which was posted on the ADDP website, just prior to the release yesterday of the governor's budget:
The disability community will be closely monitoring the governor's House 2 recommendations for each of these (community) line items. These accounts have suffered greatly over the last several years, with reductions, and, when lucky, partial restorations. But in the future, the ability to maintain such service levels will be severely in jeopardy… Such budget cuts may likely imperil Community First, derail state (facility) closure plans, cause panic as families lose services, and may very well land the Commonwealth in court for violating its own agreements in several lawsuit settlements. (our emphasis)
This is not from us– it's from one of the governor's key political supporters. By the way, the ADDP noted, following the release of the governor's 2011 budget, that the budget actually appears to further reduce funding for a number of specific community line items in the coming fiscal year.
In our view, this administration has as big a credibility gap in this area as the budget gap it is dealing with.