Jul 2, 2013 11:30 PM by Erin Steuber
Disabled Louisiana residents and their families are calling for state lawmakers to support a veto session. This after some of their funding was cut in the legislative session. Governor Jindal's line item vetoes took away more than $4 million in funding for the disabled, and those affected are taking action.
21-year-old Brittany Quebedeaux was paralyzed from the neck down in an ATV accident when she was only 15-years-old. She's a recipient of the New Opportunities Waiver, or NOW, a program aimed at allowing the disabled to live as independently as possible.
"Now I'm able to go to school. I can get a job. My family is able to go out and work. I can be more independent and not have to depend on everyone else," said Quebedeaux.
But that funding will no longer be available if Governor Jindal's decision stands. The program and four others for the disabled will be cut to the tune of more than $4 million. Those cuts include:
NOW waiver slots:
200 slots cut | $3.9 million
Children's Special Health Services:
8 clinics statewide | $794,000
Individual and Family Support Program:
Families Helping Families Resource Centers:
Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network:
"It's a good thing that can help a lot people, including all the taxpayers in Louisiana, to get a return on their money and give these people a chance to live and work and be productive," said Steeven Halphen who is also paralyzed.
The group gathered outside of State Senator Elbert Guillory's office, their goal: To catch the eye of lawmakers.
"They need to be counted. They need to be supported and they could suprisingly be more valuable than you would imagine," said Paulette Bussey, the mother of a son with autism.
Opelousas Councilman Reggie Tatum spoke on behalf of Senator Guillory who could not be there.
"I'm going to reccommend that he does override the veto because it's something that's sorely needed. We can not discriminate, and we can not forget about our citizens with disabilities because they have a right to be productive citizens just like we do," said Tatum.
State lawmakers have until July 11th to cast their vote for a veto session. It will only happen if more than half agree to hold the session, and some have already said that they're opposed.
For more information about overriding Governor Jindal's veto visit otvla.com.