This document serves to petition Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut State Legislature to remove proposed budget cuts in services to the state Department of Mental Retardation (recently renamed the Department of Developmental Services) in the 2007 proposed fiscal budget. The specific cuts in question are those that include a reduction in the amount of the number of eligible intellectually disabled high school graduates who are turning 21 and transferring to DMR adult aid programs from 270 to 135. We additionally object to the reduction in the number of slots available from 215 to 85 for disabled young adults who had been receiving services from the state Department of Children and Families, and were scheduled to transfer to DMR for adult services. We feel these cuts are potentially threatening the future of dozens of special needs individuals and their families. We ask you to consider the enormous consequences to families affected by this loss of services to their loved ones. For an overwhelming number of families who are not in a financial position to pay for services for their child, this will mean a heart wrenching choice of either denying their children services that have kept them stimulated and improved their quality of life, leaving a job in order to provide care for their developmentally disabled adult child, or working additional jobs in order to fund adult day services. Further, we believe these cuts will deny these individuals the opportunity to participate in programs that would allow them to be a productive member of society through vocational training as well as to develop life skills that may allow some to someday lead an independent life. We are outraged that families of the potentially affected children were formally notified of the possibility of losing their funding only after these budget items were already approved by the State Appropriations Committee, severely time constraining these families\' opportunity to share objections with their elected officials. We believe cutting funds for these programs represents a heartless measure taken against those who most need our help and support. The following CT residents are offering their voices to represent those who must depend on the voices of others. NOTE: DONATIONS TO IPETITION (the free service that provides the petition software) ARE COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. Your signature will be recorded whether or not you make a donation. You may simply
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