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Advocate: 

The Biennial Budget is being heard in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee this week. Deep cuts to vital public services threaten to hurt vulnerable Ohioans. Can you take action right now?

If you are ready to take action now, simply click the links above. If you need more information, see below for an overview and analysis, or look farther down to dig deeper into the details.

First, an overview . . .

The proposed FY2012-2013 biennial budget contains innovative ideas for improving health and human services in Ohio, but Advocates for Ohio’s Future sees three disturbing trends in the proposed budget that, if implemented, will actually do more damage to an already fractured and fragile system.

1) Budget falls short of vision: Bold policy changes touted by the administration in the lead-up to the budget’s release gave Advocates for Ohio’s Future hope that two long-sought-after reforms – rebalancing long-term care and integrating behavioral health with physical health – would finally be achieved. Unfortunately, the policy language isn’t supported by the budget figures – and will not move the needle away from unnecessary institutionalization and toward home- and community-based care. In both cases, the budget would gut the infrastructure or delivery system around these services.

2) Local government cuts: Ohio’s 88 counties and its other local governments – from child welfare and JFS offices to ADAMH boards and health departments – face stark reductions under the proposed budget.

3) The federal hit: Cuts in the proposed state budget will be compounded by looming cuts to social services being made at the federal level, both through continuing resolutions funding federal programs now through September, and through cuts being discussed for the FY2012 federal budget.

To learn more about these three trends, read AOF’s Talking Points on the Biennial Budget.

To access the state budget and related information, visit our Resources page.

Second, dig deeper . . .

To get the details about the issues you care about, read testimony delivered last week to the House Finance subcommittee by our statewide partners. Issue-based testimony is also highlighted below:

Overviews

Children and families

Seniors and people with disabilities

Health care

Safety net

Third, take action . . .

Advocates for Ohio’s Future urges you to get involved now by doing one or more of the following:

Thank you for making your voice heard on these critical issues this week while testimony is being heard in the House Finance Committee.

Scott Britton
Coordinator

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