Rhode Islanders Rally to Undo Funding Cuts

Programs that help developmentally disabled Rhode Islanders were slashed last year by 24-million dollars.

Cuts that many feel are putting the health and welfare of developmentally disabled people at risk.

“All I can believe is that they truly don't know how very much it affects these guys. I can't see how anybody could let that happen.” said Tammy Bellars.

Bellars daughter Tabitha has benefited from many of the programs that have or will soon be cut, and Tammy is afraid that if the cuts become permanent, her daughter and others will suffer.

“It's no life and they're entitled to a life, just like the rest of us.” said Bellars.

Lynda Teoli has been fighting to get the funding restored for the last 5-months. And she knows first-hand, how important the programs the funding supports are.

Including the one that gives her brother Jeff a job.

“They put through these cuts without a hearing, without hearing from family members like myself, about the impact's these cuts would have.”

The outcry from concerned family members isn't falling on deaf ears. At least 5-bills have been filed in the House, to get the funding back.

“Through no fault of their own they're in the circumstances that they're in and if the State doesn't take care of these people, what's that say for the State of Rhode Island?” said State Representative David Bennett from Warwick.

Now some of the money that's been cut goes to supporting facilities across the State, that look after developmentally disabled people.

Those cuts have already led to lay-off's and a reduction in programming.