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Residents, Activists, Plead with State Budget Committee

The House Ways and Means Committee heard two hours of testimony from the public Monday about programs slated for cuts.

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The state's budget is projected to be about $28 billion over the next 2 years.

The House Ways and Means Committee heard two hours of testimony from the public Monday about programs slated for cuts in the state’s upcoming budget, with many of those testifying pleading for their livelihood.

A number of speakers, including United Senior Action Board of Directors Chair Nancy Griffin, went before the committee to ask for funding for the disabled, the elderly and those with disabilities.

“I think we all know that no one says ‘well, when I get old, I want to go to a nursing home,” she says. “People go to nursing homes to die. And people die in nursing homes from loneliness; from isolation. That’s not a good investment.”

Others lobbied for more funding for public broadcasting and for keeping a state fund created during the Great Depression which seeks to insure that bank depositors won’t lose their money if a bank fails.

Further cuts to K-12 education were decried, and there was even a plea from Quarterhorse Racing Association of Indiana Executive Director Michelle Collins not to change the formula which allots state gaming dollars to her group.

“Every dollar that is invested in the racing industry,” he says, “we provide you with a heavy return of investment on the one dollar.”

Governor Mitch Daniels’ proposed budget would spend just less than $28 billion over the next two years.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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