Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is Ohio More Socially Conscious Than Oregon?

I still believe in the basic goodness of the people in our state. I believe they truly care about all our citizens. There is always going to be controversy around certain issues that have political ramifications that we need to inspect and wrestle with as a community, but ensuring that the basic needs of our people are met is not one. I came across the following article on the internet and it caused me to think of how we are not asked to do what needs to be done to ensure our people’s needs are taken care of in Oregon. I believe that if we were, we would.

Franklin County MRDD levy wins in landslide

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
By BONNIE BUTCHERThisWeek Staff Writer

Franklin County voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed Issue 29, a levy for the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
With 90 percent of precincts reporting, the levy was winning handily with 165,968 votes (68.71 percent) to 75,595 votes (31.29 percent), according to unofficial results from the board of elections.
"We're very happy for the children and adults that we serve and their families and for all those staff and providers who support the children and adults of our community," said Jed Morison, MRDD board superintendent. "We've had absolutely great support from so many."
The permanent 3.5-mill levy will replace a 1.65-mill levy, Morison said. It will begin collecting in January 2009. A levy for 2.32 mills that voters approved in 1998 expires at the end of this year.
"The owner of a $100,000 house will contribute an additional $47.31 per year," according to campaign literature. "Even though the new voted millage will be less than the previous levies, the updated effective rate will provide some additional funds."
Those additional funds will not be used to create new programs, Morison said, but to serve the growing population of people who qualify for services. That population is growing as medical technology increases the life spans of people with disabilities, Morison said.
The board serves approximately 14,000 people with developmental disabilities from infancy to adulthood.
"Developmental disability originates in the developmental or childhood years and is expected to last indefinitely," Morison said, "so we have adults who've had disabilities since childhood who still benefit from our services."
Children are served through such programs as early intervention and preschool programs and school-age services for children with multiple disabilities, Morison said.
"Doctors say the greatest amount of brain development is in the first three years of life," Morison said, "so to provide that early intervention and support is very important."
Adult clients participate in training to gain employment, Morison said, or for people who aren't ready for employment, the board provides them with skills to help with their daily living.
Morison said the goal is to help give people the skills to be as independent as possible.
Morison said he is grateful to the Franklin County community.
"This is a wonderful community," Morison said. "Some say the character of a community is best determined by how people in need are supported. This is one more example of why our community is a great place to live."

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