Developmental Disability Funding Loses In House Budget

Apr 1, 2015

Lisa and Freddie advocate at the State House on Wednesday for members to restore funding to developmental disability services.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A $11.2 billion budget was signed off on Wednesday by the New Hampshire House.

Although the plan is a modest increase from the last biennial, it cuts hundreds of millions from what the Governor proposed.

The reductions include $6 million less for substance abuse treatment programs as well as $53 million less for developmental disabilities.

Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.

Kona Johnson of New Market advocates for her son Trevor, 8, who is battling Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

“I would just say please look into the eyes of our kids and realize they are not numbers, they are not statistics and we fight every day to make sure we can make appointments and doctor visits,” Colby said while protesting inside the State House. 

Kona Johnson of New Market's  8-year-old son Trevor battles Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which is a chromosomal ailment that affects intellectual and physical development. Johnson said the reductions to early prevention treatment, could be devastating to a child's growth and overall well-being. 

"Very, very doom-and-gloom about his prognosis, not being able to walk, not being able to talk -- he does walk now. And if he didn't get the therapies he got as a child, he would not be able to walk and that is so huge to a child's enjoyment of his life," she said.

The Senate will now have two months to work on its version of the budget.