The FY 2004 State budget, and the negotiations that led to the final budget, were some of the most difficult times faced by New Jersey in recent memory. But at the end of the day, New Jersey's Legislators and Governor McGreevey should be proud of one thing - they did not forget our citizens with developmental disabilities.
I am the parent of Bonnie, a 26 year old with significant cognitive disabilities who needs total care, 24 hours/7 days a week, which she receives at home from my wife and I. As the budget process progressed, we listened in fear to proposals to cut dental care to adult Medicaid recipients, to impose 10% cuts to State Departments and as it was revealed that funding for group homes already in development was simply not there. But through it all Senators and Assembly members, Democrats and Republicans all promised they would not balance their budget on the backs of people like Bonnie. And they didn't.
As the new fiscal year dawned, the funds for Medicaid dental care for adults and the 84 group homes already in development were there and there were no across the board cuts. Thank you for remembering us. From Bonnie's Mom and Dad, our heartfelt thank you!
The Arc of New Jersey