Seniors upset over potential Wash. state budge cuts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Seniors upset over potential Wash. state budge cuts

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  A group of seniors and their caretakers voiced their concerns Wednesday over proposed Washington state budget cuts.   The group met at "Aging and Long Term Care" in Kennewick, one week before legislators meet to start talking about how to fill a $2.6-billion budget deficit.

One of the proposed cuts is to the Senior Citizens Services Act, which provides in-home care, such as meals, medical care, and transportation.  Under one plan, local program coordinator Virginia Janin explains, funding would take a 65% reduction in 2011.  She says, "Without these services, they would end up in nursing homes, which decreases their quality of life and is more expensive in the long run.  So, it would be detrimental to the state budget to do that."

One senior, Denise, who gets many health services through the state and federal government says she couldn't live without them.  She would have to reside in assisted living, something she doesn't want to do.

Janin says some programs get matching federal dollars, so by cutting  state funding, they'd lose than just that amount.  She's urging anyone interested to write to Governor Gregoire or your congressman about not making cuts to what she calls important health and human se rives.

A state revenue forecast is expected to be released mid-February.

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