Mark Reinhardt of Boise, an aspiring young journalist, was the first to testify to JFAC this morning. He said, “I rise in opposition to elimination and/or cuts to DDA or PSR services,” which include services to people with developmental disabilities. Without those services, Reinhardt said, he'd likely be institutionalized or in prison. “At 18, I was a dysfunctional mess,” Reinhardt told the lawmakers. “I'm now able to learn from my mistakes and grow. He said he now aspires to be “the next Walter Cronkite.”
Amy Bertram of Salmon spoke as the mom of a developmentally disabled daughter. “We don't want to send the message to these people with disabilities that we don't think they're capable of learning any more,” she told lawmakers. She said she recognizes that the budget needs to be balanced. “I do believe there are ways of doing this without autocratically eliminating programs that provide services to the most vulnerable members of our society,” she said. Bertram suggested enforcing existing rules to go after those who fraudulently bill Medicaid.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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