Planning the Budget for Disability Services

According to state statistics, there are more than 84,000 people waitingfor disability and senior services.

The state legislature allocates funds to the Department of Aging and Disability Services every two years.The agency is preparing it's budget request for the next biennium. Agency Spokesperson Laura Albrecht says they're holding videoconferences around the state to talk about the budget.

"This gives us the opportunity to hear from the public, from the stakeholders, from anyone who may be receiving services, may be considering that option of receiving our services, anyone that might be providing those services we certainly want to hear so we can develop the funding request to the legislature."

The agency runs on a $5.7 billion budget, but it would take hundreds of millionsin extra funding to serve everyone on the waiting lists.

Albrecht says public comments on the budget help them set priorities.

"Our programs can include services for adults and children with medical and physical disabilities, older adults, caregivers. We provide services for adults and children with mental retardation, so we have a wide variety of services that Texans have access to, so we certainly want to hear from anyone that we serve."

The videoconference is tomorrow afternoon from 3-6pm.It's at the Houston Health and Human Services Department located at8000 N Stadium Drive.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
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