Budget ax hits home Officials here: Human-service cut fallout great
Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed 20 percent cut in a segment of funding for human services will have many impacts.
But one is more severe than all others, according to Jim Laughman, executive director of the Lancaster County Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Early Intervention.
"We will be forced to shut down residential services," he said. "Unequivocally we're going to have to do that, and that means we'll be putting people on the street who are in housing now."
In February, Corbett unveiled his 2012-13 budget proposal, which, among myriad other recommendations, suggests combining seven funding categories provided to counties into one Human Services Development Fund Block Grant.
Doing so, Laughman said, would give counties more flexibility in spending those combined dollars.
Those line items provide funds for drug and alcohol treatment, homeless services, residential and therapeutic services for the mentally retarded and for people suffering from mental illness, among other services.
For the 2011-12 fiscal year, Lancaster County received $17.5 million for all seven line items combined.
Along with the combination proposal for 2012-13, Corbett also recommended the 20 percent cut in funding.
That would mean a $3.5 million hit for Lancaster County.