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By Michael Byington

In the 2005-2006 budget submitted by Governor Sebelius, the Governor recommends that the remaining monies left over from the sale of the old Services for the Blind buildings and land located at 6th and MacVicar in Topeka, be used to pull down the needed federal match for the coming fiscal year. State general funds are usually used for such purposes.

Advocates working on blindness issues had hoped that the State General fund monies would continue to be made available for achieving the federal match to pull down blind services funding. We had hoped that the monies left over from the sale of the old services for the blind location could be retained to be used as start up for new programming. It does not look at this writing as though this will be the case, although we are continuing to advocate for this outcome.

What is even more frightening, however, is that in the Governor’s budget message, she states that 2005-2006 is the last year she believes the State’s blind services functions should receive State funding of any kind. After this coming fiscal year, the governor wants all Kansas blind services to be self-supporting and self sufficient.

One must ask why the Governor chose to confer this honor on Kansas Blind Services when she continues to recommend State funding for other human services such as those services provided to drug and alcohol abusers, pregnant teens, etc. As this is written, KABVI has received an excellent response from advocates throughout the State who are attending budget hearings, writing letters, and finding every way possible to communicate to the Governor and the Kansas Legislature that we feel what the Governor has done is unfair and cruel. We will let you know how it all comes out in the next issue of KABVI NEWS.

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