SPEAKING OUT ON THE ISSUES THAT MATTER!
As members of Florida's Legislature began the budget process last week, a delegation of CCS clients and friends made their way to Tallahassee to share their concerns about potential funding cuts that could affect all people in Florida with an intellectual or developmental disability. In speaking with Florida Representative Debbie Boyd, Telissa Winebrenner, said "Don't take away our money." The money she referred to is the Medicaid Waiver funding that allows people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible in spite of significant challenges. During a pre-budget exercise earlier in the month, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities developed a worst-case scenario plan that would reduce the funding for Telissa's day services by 40% -something that would be devastating to her health and safety. Telissa was joined on the trip by her friends Angie Armstead, Jackie Brown, Farrah Clark and Ty Horne. The CCS contingency also included staff members Melanie Miller, Debbie Lee, Tricia Williams and Bobbie Lake who were joined by CCS Board President Jerry Moellenkamp and his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters Leeta and Niki. In addition to meeting with Representative Boyd, the group was able to share their concerns with Representative Leonard Bembry during a luncheon, Senator Charlie Dean, Chairman of the State Agriculture Committee and Representative Janet Adkins who represents the people CCS serves in Baker County. Bobbie Lake, CCS Executive Director, commented "The day was a complete success. We had an opportunity to see our State government in full operation and more importantly, to let our voices be heard at the State level."