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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.

2020Talks - October 20, 2020 

Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

Will OR Human Services...Serve Fewer Humans?

June 9, 2009

Salem, OR – Oregonians who live with disabilities and seniors in need of nursing care are holding their collective breath – waiting for the outcome of a legislative work session and vote this week. If the Human Services portion of the new state budget is approved, 38 percent of in-home care services and 40 percent of nursing home funding will go away.

Jerry Cohen, who heads AARP Oregon, says the state's most vulnerable residents understand that money is tight, but feel the proposed cuts are too deep for families and volunteers to make up the difference.

"We're all sharing some pain and some responsibility. So, it is a matter of balancing both cuts and revenues in a fair and equitable manner."

Cohen has been vocal about the severity of the cuts and what they say about the state's commitment to those who can't care for themselves independently.

"It's incumbent upon us to speak up and share both our concerns and our willingness as a society to stand together when it comes to preserving our core services and our values."

Cohen says the proposed budget eliminates almost 6,000 care-giving jobs and effectively turns away 200 million dollars in federal matching money, because the state won't be funding its portion of some programs. Lawmakers have agreed that cutting social services is never easy, but they say it's necessary to try to reverse the state budget shortfall.

A coalition of 25 advocacy groups,the Campaign for Oregon Seniors and People With Disabilities, says the budget proposal comes down unfairly on those least able to rebound.

The vote in the state legislature is expected on Friday.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR