Veto of disability funding will affect parish residents
Scallan is the mother to a developmentally disabled child who requires daily care. Her family was on a waiting list for eight years before her son received a Children’s Choice waiver that allowed for her family to receive funding for their child’s care.
"The waiting period was very difficult. Children like ours cannot necessarily get what they need in community childcare centers," Scallan said.
Since receiving the waiver, Scallan and her husband have been able to maintain full-time employment while receiving care for their son. However, at age 19 her son will no longer be eligible for Children’s Choice waiver and they will have to apply for a New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) slot, which currently has a waiting period of at least a decade.
Scallan said if their assistance runs out her family may have to make some tough decisions.
"At least one parent can’t work. Then you rely more on the government," she said. "Having the waiver you have more of an opportunity to work to put back into the system."
There was speculation that state legislators may force a special session to have that funding restored, but that effort fell short.
In the Senate, two-thirds of the 39 members voted to block the veto session. In the House the veto session had much more support with only 38 out of 105 representatives voting to block it.
Both of St. Charles Parish’s legislators, Sen. Gary Smith (D-Norco) and Rep. Greg Miller (R-Norco), were in favor of holding the session.
Smith said he disagreed with the decision by Jindal to take funds away from services for the disabled and elderly that were debated and voted on by the legislature.
"I didn’t think it was right for the governor to go in and change that in a negative way when it related to healthcare for some of our most needy and most deserving citizens," he said.
Smith said he has worked towards increasing funding for NOW waivers since he was elected to the legislature in 2003.
"It’s unbelievable, the waitlist is 12-15 years. Some of these individuals, it destroys families financially while they are waiting and lots of times emotionally as well," he said. "We did everything we could within this budget to try and help as much as we can."
For families who are the most in need, Smith said the wait will have to continue for now.
"It’s just such an incredible financial responsibility to take care of somebody with the nature of some of these disabilities that are out there," he said. "I’ve heard and seen firsthand. They’ve come and sat in my office and I’ve gone and visited with them. Families are financially ruined because they can’t afford to not work because they need to pay for the services."
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Lutcher coach Tim Detillier is fond of saying “they should collect the money on the...
A hungry and prepared Jesuit team spoiled host Hahnville’s preseason jamboree...
A $1.4 million bid has been awarded to Barriere Construction Co. in Boutte to...
Molly the pony is a Sea Biscuit kind of story that offers the hope that anyone can...
When it comes to insurance, the catastrophe can linger long after the devastation...
Darrington Sentimore once spent his time taking down quarterbacks and running backs...
Over 25 Years of Quality Sales, Service and Repairs on YAMAHA, MERCURY, EVINRUDE and JOHNSON Motors.
Former college star turns injury into new career with Jefferson Parish - 3204 views
Darrington Sentimore once spent his time taking down quarterbacks and running backs at the prep, college and NFL level.