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The Kansas budget deficit is a $400 million dollar hole that is growing larger each month. On Friday, March 5, 2010, the Senate Ways and Means Committee declared that the state legislature must cut FURTHER into social services to help filling the budget hole. The Department on Aging budget has already, in the current year, eliminated services that have recently been made available to seniors: sleep-cycle support (paying someone an average of $25/night to assist the senior while they sleep) and assistive technology (contrary to what the name implies, is very low-tech home modifications including grab bars, bath chairs, and wheelchair ramps). For Kansas seniors, this means they will be unable to remain in their homes and must seek placement in a nursing facility (incidentally, costing the state three times as much, annually, as the eliminated services). At this point, the cuts to the services for Kansas seniors have pierced the skin, down through to the bone. If the Kansas Legislature votes to continue cuts to the Kansas Department on Aging budget, the cuts will snap the bone. No longer would Kansas seniors have state funding for nutritional programs (Ex: Meals on Wheels) or services through the Senior Care Act (entirely state funded program enabling seniors with income above Medicaid levels to receive critical services in their homes to keep them out of nursing facility care) beyond the necessary dollars to meet the federal match . It is estimated that nutrition programs would lose $2.6 million or 549,674 meals, the cut to Senior Care Act would cut services $1.1 million, or services to 873 Kansas seniors. This petition is urging you to not let the budget cuts slash any deeper (the bone is already brittle). The Kansas State Legislature MUST vote to increase revenue to fill the budget hole.


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