Advocacy groups urge lawmakers to increase funding in FY19 budget

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP)-Many Massachusetts programs rely on state funding to stay afloat. Advocates pleaded with lawmakers Friday to continue supporting their programs and increase investments in areas like disability services and family assistance.

Representatives of independent living centers are calling on lawmakers to increase their funding to total about $7.5 million so they can provide additional services to people with disabilities.

“The peace of getting people out of nursing homes and getting them housing, the empowerment, getting them back into the workforce, it’s so key that we need help,” David Correia of MetroWest Center For Independent Living said.

Advocates with the “Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids” also made their case to the committee, urging lawmakers to remove a cap on welfare benefits for families.

“Parents can’t buy diapers for a new baby. If they do buy diapers, they can’t buy boots for the older child. They are always having to make choices between one necessity and another necessity,” Deborah Harris with the “Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids” told 22News.

Lawmakers could choose to pass a stand alone bill or include the measure in the budget. It would grant an extra $100 a month to families excluded by the cap.

The budget is still in the early stages of the process. The House and Senate will debate the spending plan in the Spring.

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