When you approach our state’s legislature with an important need, asking them to fund it, you often hear the same words... “We don’t have enough money in the budget to fund this need.” There always seems to be another excuse why needs don’t get funding, and generally it revolves around the budget. That being the case, someone please answer the following question. If the budget is so constraining, how in the name of all that’s good and sacred can the legislature fork out over 1.25 million dollars, for of all things, OFFICE FURNITURE?
I know we need an ombuds program to ensure people with developmental disabilities who live in the community are protected. I also know that when the financial impact is discussed in the upcoming legislative session about said program, there will be hemming and hawing over what it costs. In Illinois they have one.
The statewide ombudsman program — advocating on behalf of more than 80,000 people in more than 800 facilities — operates on a $2.8 million annual budget. That breaks down to $1.7 million from the federal government, $750,000 from civil penalties paid by nursing homes with health violations, and $391,000 from state general-revenue funds.
I say “to hell with the office furniture. Give us and ombuds program!”