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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘Where would you want to be?’

Terri Scarrow of Jerome told of how her 15-year-old daughter, a bright, promising, straight-A student, was hit by a drunk driver and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Now disabled, she lives at home while receiving care, thanks to the certified family home program; Scarrow said she doesn't want her daughter, whose very survival was miraculous, to live in a nursing home. She asked lawmakers to think about if it had been them. "Where would you want to be?" she asked.

Victoria Johnson of Caldwell said she operates a certified family home to care for six disabled family members, including two daughters in their 20s whose mental capacity is that of between a 2-year-old and an 8-year-old, and an autistic son. The daughters attend a center for people with developmental disabilities, which helps them immensely, she said. "I could not do it alone." Without the certified family home program, Johnson said, she'd lose her home.

Ruth Greiting of Sterling told lawmakers that  a traffic accident 28 years ago left her in a wheelchair. "I will be 84 years old on Valentine's Day, and I find that I need more help than I did then," she said. "I've been on the personal assistance program for the last five years." She pays a substantial co-pay, while Medicaid pays the rest of the cost of her personal assistance. "By using attendant care, I saved Idaho $60,556 a year, and by living in my own home, I am contributing monthly and yearly back into the economy," she said. Greiting urged lawmakers not to cut such services. "I've lived in my present home for 64 years, and I hope to remain there until I croak," she said to laughter. "You and your loved ones are only seconds away from life-altering changes," she told lawmakers. "Realize how vital these services are to us."

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.