The Crow Wing County Board has received an inkling of how the $4.5 billion state budget deficit potentially will affect the social services department Tuesday.
Susan Beck, county human services director, expressed several concerns she has with how the state's financial crisis may affect the county.
Beck said anticipated changes in revenues for 2003 have forced the department to cut off new referrals for chore services and extended employment services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Chore services provide the disabled and elderly with miscellaneous assistance, such as light cleaning or shoveling snow. The extended employment services provide work training and support employment opportunities.
Beck said the county also will lose more than $1.3 million in medical assistance waiver funds for the developmentally disabled this year. Beck said staff members are reviewing different strategies on how to operate without the needed dollars. She said some possibilities could be to have people move into nursing homes, reduce services and move people to less expensive placements.
Beck said cuts already have been made to the Consolidated Chemical Dependency Treatment Program. One of the tiers has been shut down for all single people with gross income between $8,869 and $19,066 per year. Beck said these people will need to pay for treatment themselves.
Another change may be in how the state aid payments are deferred. Other proposed cuts include eliminating reimbursement for the county's transportation for detox patients, juvenile chemical dependency assessment grants and the healthy moms and healthy children grant.
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