Here is a letter I provided to the NH House Finance Committee today. It could have been written in 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001… You get the idea. I have tremendous respect for advocates who have been at this for far longer than I.
The video that the letter refers to appears at the bottom of this post.
From: Gary M. Dietz
Subject: Wait List / Transition Funding / Developmental Services
Date: March 9, 2015 (although it could be any year from past decades)
Dear New Hampshire House Finance Committee Members,
I am writing in support of level or even increased funding of the wait list (now called transition funding). My rhetorical outreach is similar to many of the folks you will hear in person today. But my outreach also has political overtones.
Back in the late 1980’s, our state made bipartisan commitments to fund community-based supports for those with developmental disabilities. Not only are community based supports more effective, more humane, and family and community centered, they are less expensive than other supports.
Yet every two years we must come to these “begathons” to remind our elected leaders of past promises, economic sacrifices made by families, and to discuss what government – even a small government – should be doing as a safety net for individuals and families.
I encourage you to watch a short video I put together that describes the political and economic reasons funding the wait list and developmental services makes sense. You’ll note that the date on this video is March 2011, almost 4 years ago to the day. Some of the facts may be slightly out of date, but it just as well could have been March of any of the two year periods before it for the past 30 years. You see, these are our realities. And your vote every two years impacts real families. Families who also understand what family values are.
You can find the video here. (I assure you it is not a slideshow filled with emotional photos of children, although those too are important to watch.) Rather, it contains opinions that I hope will inform your policy making.
Thanks for your time and support. Feel free to reach me at the number above at any time.