In Governor Bredesen 's State of Tennessee address, he announced that Family Support is included in the budget he has presented to the legislature for 2010-2011. The funds he proposes to utilize for the program are reserve funds, commonly known as “rainy day” funds. He is also recommending that the new Governor maintain funding in the budget for at least the first year of office.
The budget must be approved by the legislature before it goes into effect on July 1, 2010. While this does not give Family Support guaranteed funding in future years, it is a truly positive step, and we are grateful for all the family members and advocates who have worked so hard to keep this valuable program alive for Tennesseans with severe disabilities.
Continuing Action Needed
It is important to let the Governor know that we are thankful for having this critical program included in his budget. It is also important to continue communicating with legislators so they are aware of how much we appreciate the efforts of those who speak up on behalf of the Family Support Program. Please continue your efforts to contact your local Legislators and impress upon them how highly you value this program.
As we express our gratitude, we must also keep in mind the many families who are on the waiting list for Family Support Services in our state. These families are bearing the economic challenges of caring with family members with severe disabilities during very difficult times. Because of the household finance difficulties many Tennessee families are facing, along with cuts to other â€œsafety net programs for persons with disabilities, we can expect that our Family Support agencies will have even more families turning to us for help in the coming months.
It is critical for us to keep seeking dedicated funding, both public and private, to ensure the security of the Family Support Program for the future of the many families who are turning to the program for help.
Filed under: The 2009 Campaign