ST. CLOUD (AP) -- Leaders of nonprofit organizations pleaded Friday to St. Cloud-area lawmakers to spare their programs from severe budget cuts.
"We are passionate about what we do, because it makes a difference in people's lives," said Cindy Hawker, executive director of United Arts of Central Minnesota.
Representatives from Catholic Charities, Ann Marie's battered women's shelter and the Great River Regional Library system were among those who took part in the forum sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Human Services Council.
In many cases, the sluggish economy increased the demand for nonprofit services. More people are using the Great River Regional Library system to search for jobs, said Verne Oleksowicz, deputy director.
The four legislators who attended Friday's session said they are struggling with balancing the budget while trying to preserve necessary services.
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