Public lodges its budget requests with senators
BATON ROUGE - Parents, disabled persons and other members of the public got their turn to outline spending priorities to senators considering how to craft Louisiana's $25 billion operating budget for next year.
Most of the requests Friday to the Finance Committee sought support for disabled health care services.
Parents whose developmentally disabled children are waiting for home-based assistance and some who receive state services asked lawmakers to keep in place plans to add $26 million. The money would provide assistance to nearly 2,500 people on waiting lists.
The Rev. Patrick Mascarella, a retired Catholic priest who is legally blind and was accompanied by his service dog, urged funding for rehabilitative services that help people live and work independently.
The Senate committee planned to draw up its version of the budget on Sunday.