The members of LaCAN (Louisiana Citizens for Action Now) believe that the cuts to LDH contained in HB1 will be devastating to people with disabilities and their families. These cuts will take real services away from real families of children and adults with severe developmental disabilities caring for their loved ones at home. The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) will have to eliminate the program that provides assistance for 939 families to help cover the extraordinary costs of raising a child with a disability. OCDD will also have to reduce Family Support Funds by 25 percent, impacting 251 individuals (children and adults) with developmental disabilities. The loss of these vital individual and family support services will likely result in a physical and financial hardship for individuals with disabilities and their families - or worse - force them to seek costly out-of-home placement. These are just two of the programs that provide vital services that will be reduced or eliminated as a result of the action by the House. LDH has received budget cuts during the current fiscal year and the two previous years. "It is illogical and wishful thinking that these additional cuts approved by the House will not result in cuts to direct services affecting thousands of Louisiana's most vulneralbe citizens," said Kay Marcel, LaCAN Volunteer Statewide Coordinator.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.