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April 21, 2012

Lieutenant governor says he’ll come back

NEW CASTLE — Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley has promised to return to Lawrence County to hear concerns of residents with disabilities.

At a rally Thursday sponsored by the Lawrence Republican Committee, a wheelchair-bound woman raised concerns about proposed state policy changes she said would have a negative impact on people with disabilities.

Cawley responded, “Want me to come back? I’ll do it.”

Chris Lloyd, executive director of Disability Options Network, commented, “Let us be part of the process.”

“I’ll come back,” Cawley responded, adding, he will “bring some folks” from the state Department of Public Welfare.

Cawley said he wanted to meet before the Legislature adopts the 2012-13 state budget.

The woman was one of about a dozen people who attended the rally in wheelchairs.

In January, DPW announced plans to consolidate the number of organizations that provide Financial Management Services to Medicaid enrollees who receive home- and community-based services.

Currently, 37 organizations provide the services to approximately 22,000 people in the state.

Bob Stoner, an organizer for PA ADAPT, said after the rally that the proposed changes could reduce services, leave people with fewer choices and result in costing individuals more money. The changes, he said, are being proposed “without any legislative oversight.”

PA ADAPT is an organization that works to assure people with disabilities to live independently.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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