I've hesitated to keep politics off this blog. But action must be taken now.
The Louisiana legislators are heading into a special session to decide how they will cut funds, and on the chopping block is $131 Million that assists nearly 25,000 Louisiana families with children who have disabilities. And another 87,000 families who receive assistance for their elderly or adults with a disability will also be facing cuts.
* Louisiana citizens, YOUR elected officials will decide if my son lives or dies. Without his waiver services, he will surely die. It's been proven, since we received home health services, our son has flourished and reduced hospital stays from 10+ a year, to now less than once a year!! His life no longer hangs in the balance in a hospital bed. He receives loving care in our home, thanks to waiver services.
* Our son is a Louisiana citizen with two working class tax-paying parents. Doesn't he deserve the right to services too?
* I'm no economist, but gas is at an all time low. My family can afford $2 a gallon without blinking. Four years ago it was nearly at $4 a gallon and that was tough. But a TEMPORARY gas tax would cover the $131 Million shortfall in NO TIME, and it wouldn't all be on the backs of Louisiana citizens. They could even put a threshold and say that we only collect the tax unless the gas prices hit $3.50 or more a gallon, and the tax is removed just as soon as the shortfall is recovered. Is this a viable solution?
* We didn't choose to have child with disabilities. I thought I would be breeding Olympians. But his life matters too.
* Our son teaches the world he touches about diversity and compassion.
Right now, your legislators are being wined and dined by lobbyists and special interest groups and making decisions before the special session even begins. We have medical bills like crazy, Obamacare has pushed several of my sone's life-saving medications past the threshold of affordability and he no longer gets them, and we haven't had but one vacation since he was born. There is no money for wining and dining officials, just trying to keep our heads above water. Don't #AllLivesMatter? Shouldn't #FamiliesFirstNotPerks be a priority?
What I know to be true is that #WaiversSaveWorthyLives. The only way to do this is to raise revenue. So it means #TaxesBeforeDeath, but we need both #CutsANDTaxes. Our legislators can #BeTheHero and drop party lines to decide to put the lives of Louisiana citizens first.
Please tell your legislators it's time to raise revenues, make necessary cuts, but save lives. This really is a death over dollars issue. How can you help?
You can write each member of the special committees that will be meeting to decide how all of this gets done. There are a few committees, so forgive the lengthiness, but it's all here in one place for you to take action and write your legislators.
If you want to find out who your elected representatives are, you can type in your address here to get the info:
Here are the committees:
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
All state revenue matters are heard in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Contact the Chairmen and Committee Members from Your Region.
Committee Chairman: Neil Abramson - email@example.com
REGIONS 1/10 - New Orleans Area
Neil Abramson (Chair) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Bouie - email@example.com
Jimmy Harris - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Hilferty - email@example.com
Julie Stokes - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Willmott - email@example.com
REGION 2 - Baton Rouge Area
Barry Ivey - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ted James - email@example.com
Major Thibaut - firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula Davis - email@example.com
REGION 3 - Houma/Thibodaux Area
Thomas Willmott - firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION 4 - Lafayette Area
Phillip Devillier - email@example.com
Mike Huval - firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION 5 - Lake Charles Area
Stephen Dwight - email@example.com
REGION 6 - Alexandria Area
Robert Johnson - firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION 7 - Shreveport Area
Jim Morris (Vice-Chair) - email@example.com
Dodie Horton - firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION 8 - Monroe Area
Jay Morris - email@example.com
Marcus Hunter - firstname.lastname@example.org
REGION 9 - Hammond/Northshore Area
Chris Broadwater - email@example.com
There are many, many consequences, fall out and domino or trickle-down effects from this decision to cut waiver programs. I have listed only a few of the scenarios here:
This doesn't even begin to cover the effects of people losing their homes because they lost services, being forced into apartments and government housing, and their short-sale affecting YOUR real estate equity and property value. It doesn't offer the outlook on what will happen to our state welfare system in the months following these cuts, and the influx of 200,000+ families that will be seeking family welfare assistance (instead of assistance for the one person who needs it). And just what do you think will happen to our crime rate as poverty takes a dramatic spike? How soon before this fall out reaches YOUR doorstep? My numbers are conservative, making a one patient and one caregiver scenario... we have SIX caregivers for our son!
Write your legislators now. Call them now. Tell them you approve of raising revenue necessary to save the lives of those we love.
We appreciate your support and love.
Kodi, Brad, BRADEN and Laila Wilson