I have worked with Kentuckians with disabilities over 30 years, and throughout that time I have witnessed the great strides made by Kentucky in the support and care for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
The Supports for Community Living SCL program enables thousands of Kentuckians to live in the community, rather than in nursing homes and other forms of institutional care. Sadly this progress is grinding to a halt and threatens to regress to the bad-old days.
Rates for the program have not been increased for 14 years; rates for day service were actually decreased four years ago. During this decade and a half, the cost of living has increased over 25 percent.
As this rate of stagnation continues, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain the staff needed to operate these services. Consequently, elderly parents will no longer be able to access safe, quality services as they become too infirmed themselves to care for their loved ones.
Fortunately, Kentucky’s House included a 10 percent increase for the program in its recently passed version of the state budget. To keep this momentum going, the Senate must preserve this necessary increase.