York County will host a community forum Wednesday to talk about the impact of losing millions of dollars in human service funding under Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget.
The event details the cuts and changes the county will have to take if the 20 percent reduction in funding is approved, costing York about $4.5 million.
County commissioners in February released a statement railing against the cuts, saying the governor's budget could leave no choice but to drastically cut services to avoid a tax increase. The cuts would hurt the "neediest people" in the community, those getting services through mental health, mental retardation, behavioral health and drug and alcohol addiction recovery programs and homeless assistance, they said.
A proposed reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates would increase the county's cost to operate the Pleasant Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center by an estimated $940,000 annually, meaning either more of the county's general fund -- county tax money -- would have to be allocated to support the nursing home, or commissioners would have to "take sweeping steps" to reduce operating costs. And possibly both, they said.
The forum will include a detailed look at changes that would have to be made on a county level, as well as an opportunity for residents to offer testimony about how the cuts will affect their lives.
Speakers are Michelle Hovis, executive director of York County Human Services, and Steve Warren, administrator of the York/Adams Mental Health-Mental Retardation Program.
The two will also explain the impact of cuts if the budget approved by the Pennsylvania Senate, which reduces the cut to 10 percent cut, is approved.
"Many lives will be negatively impacted should these proposed cuts go through," Hovis said. "These cuts if approved will reduce the supports necessary to keep people out of far more expensive programs and institutions such as mental hospitals and crisis centers. They will ultimately drive up costs for taxpayers while reducing the quality of life in our community."
The forum will be held from 6-8 p.m. at York Learning Center auditorium, 300 E. Seventh Ave. in North York.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, firstname.lastname@example.org.