Conference of Allegheny Providers C C/o Stephen Christian-Michaels Family Services of Western PA A 3230 William Pitt Way P Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (412) 820-2050 – ext 438 firstname.lastname@example.org Human Services Sandbagged Testimony on the Commonwealth Budget Cuts April 15, 2003 The Conference of Allegheny Providers (CAP) is made up of fifty three agencies which contract to provide human services in Allegheny County. Collectively our budgets represent $500,000 million dollars dedicated to providing human services. We serve 125,000 Allegheny County residents and employ 13,500 staff. Many of the agencies provide multiple services. 73% Mental Health (MH) 60% Mental Retardation (MR) 28% Drug & Alcohol (D&A) 26% Children Youth and Family (CYF) 17% Juvenile Justice (JJ) 2% Aging The Commonwealth current approved budget has a total impact of over $25 million in cut services. This means consumers will not get the services they need. Staff will be laid off and other service systems will be forced to serve these clients with no funding including our jail, emergency rooms, mental health clinics, schools and other community based providers who are already stretched beyond what they can provide. # of Residents The cuts to human Services include: Size of Cut to be unserved Human Service Development Funds (HSDF) 100% cut 4.7 million 10,000 Drug & Alcohol Treatment 52% cut 7.2 million 3,000 Employment & Training 27% cut 6.0 million 1,000 Mental Health 6% cut 5.0 million 2,500 Homeless Services 5% cut 148,311 500 Aging Services 4% cut 69,500 625 TOTAL 23.1 million 16,975 Assumptions seem to have been made when these budget cuts were made: HSDF is only “walking around money” (WAM) False, these funds pay for basic needs for people with out insurance, Medicaid or Medicare Drug & Alcohol treatment doesn’t work False, D&A treatment works better than many medical treatments Not to treat addictions, increase cost to the public sector (CYF, Jails, etc) Counties fund human services, not the Commonwealth False, MH, MR and D&A treatment is 95-98% state & federally funded in Allegheny County IMPACT OF THE CUTS ON CONSUMER: Small grass roots providers funded largely from HSDF or D&A funds will go out of business. No provider can stay in business when 50% or 90% of your funding is eliminated Families in Family Support Center will not be able to receive counseling. Many families are fearful to seek traditional services and will increase risks of child abuse and neglect, delay treatment and will cost more in more formal settings. 52% of the Drug and Alcohol consumers will go with out treatment. Drug and Alcohol treatment is already horribly under funded. This is a crime. While there was a 38% cut of all Drug and Alcohol services, treatment funds are cut by 52% while other categorical prevention services were not cut. 3 million dollars for BH services in the transfer of funds from HealthChoices to Medical Assistance People on General Assistance MNO or CNO categories of MA will loose services Safety net function provided by the mental health providers will have to be substantially cut back with the layoff of staff resulting in crisis services such as expensive inpatient care Reductions in vocational training at a time when we are encouraging people to leave welfare and become self sufficient, is reversing our commitment to reduce dependency on welfare. Allegheny County has the largest percentage population of older adults and we are cutting services to the older adults, many for which there is no alternative. County Jail, Emergency Room, and Homeless Services costs will increase with greater demand No Cost of Living Increase impacts all Human Services The lack of a cost of living increase for human services is a budget cut, given that most other program costs go up each year (health insurance, rent, utilities, etc.). This impacts Mental Retardation, Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol, Children’s Services, among others ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IMPACT: Collectively, the lay off of 650 staff, given most of our costs are in personnel costs. Increase costs in unemployment, Medicaid and other Welfare related benefits Agency purchase of services and goods in communities will decease, impacting the community Drug & Alcohol state budget cuts will reduce ability to obtain Federal funding in the future State must show maintenance of efforts in order to be eligible for 600 million drug voucher funding The speed with which this budget was developed and then passed did not allow for the usual research and public scrutiny. We implore you to advocate for restoration of these cuts. To have the working poor, the disabled and people struggling with addiction, the most under-funded of human services must be re-evaluated. We recognize that the state of the economy has had serious consequences to the state revenue streams, but certainly. The most disadvantaged should not be taking this large a hit.
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