Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Didn't He Vote No Instead Of Present

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – While his House and Senate colleagues returned home last Thursday, Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee’s Summit/Greenwood, stayed behind in crisis mode to address budget shortfalls affecting at risk women and children and those with physical and developmental disabilities.

Grisamore sits on the House Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services. On Tuesday and Thursday, the committee considered budget cuts in the Departments of Social Services, Health and Senior Services and Mental Health. The committee’s budget recommendations have been referred to the House Budget Committee, which begins its deliberations this week.

Budget cuts proposed included reductions in state funding for domestic violence and sexual abuse programs and child care assistance, as well as women and minority health services and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Proposed cuts to services for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities were among Grisamore’s greatest concerns. “Fighting and advocating for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities is my highest legislative priority,” Grisamore said.

Grisamore held emergency meetings last Friday with Keith Schaefer, Director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), Bernie Simons, Director of DMH’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, and Tec Chapman, Deputy Director of DMH’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.

From there, Grisamore went to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and met with Director Ron Levy and Deputy Director Brian Kinkaid. Discussions with both departments revolved around concerns with some of the cuts, especially a 50% reduction to funding for shelters for domestic violence and sexual abuse victims and proposed cuts in base funding for child care assistance that would put $38 million in federal funding at risk.

Later in the day Friday, Grisamore addressed the bi-monthly meeting in Jefferson City of the Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council (MOSILC) that provides services to Missourians with disabilities. Grisamore’s message to MOSILC was clear, that he will fight to preserve funding with allies in the House and Senate who are fellow advocates for those with disabilities, but that they must also look for ways to contain costs and diversify their revenue streams as non-profits.

Seeking restored funding for shelters for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse is also high in Grisamore’s priorities. Late Friday, Grisamore spoke to MaryAnne Metheny, Director of Hope House, a women’s crisis shelter with facilities in Lee’s Summit and Independence that would lose $58,000 in state funding under the proposed cuts.

As Chairman of the Missouri Children’s Services Commission, Grisamore has tapped Metheny to Chair a Subcommittee/Working Group on children affected by domestic violence. “I am hopeful that we can see these proposed cuts restored or seek private funding to make up the difference,” said Grisamore. “My greatest concern is that women’s shelters statewide are already having to turn away thousands of women and children.”

Grisamore and Directors of DSS and DMH spoke about the recommendations of the Lewin Report that maps out cost containment strategies for their departments during the current and ongoing state budget crisis.

Total receipts for Missouri general revenue in 2008 were $9.26 billion. That total went down to $8.89 billion in 2009 and has decreased to a projected $7.3 billion for the current year, which has caused the governor to have to cut over $700 million from the budget already, with more cuts likely to come.

“Revenue for January was down over 23% from last January, which illustrates the crisis we face,” Grisamore said. “My greatest concern is that with such dramatic declines in state revenue, our most vulnerable citizens—at risk children, our frail and elderly and individuals with disabilities—suffer the most. I believe we can find better ways to contain state cost to minimize the impact on Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Grisamore.

“I believe that in this time of state budget crisis, we can think and act strategically and with innovations to catalyze greater public-private partnerships that do more with less in serving our citizens with greatest needs, especially at risk children, vulnerable seniors and those with physical and developmental disabilities,” he added. “It’s amazing to think that Missouri is still in better shape than about 45 other states.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kansas City State Rep. Talboy Calls Lee's Summit Grisamore Cowardly For Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Program Cuts!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kansas City State Rep. Talboy Calls Lee's Summit Grisamore Cowardly For Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Program Cuts!!!

In an afternoon press release Kansas City's Downtown Rep. Mike Talboy makes a good point about GOP double speak when it comes to the interests of families and children. Check it:

Grisamore Votes To Cut Millions from Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Programs Cuts result in a 50% reduction to existing funds for services

Jefferson City, MO— In a 6-5-1 vote Rep. Jeff Grisamore voted “present” allowing the passage of millions in cuts to domestic violence and sexual abuse programs. The amendment, which came before the appropriations committee on health, mental health and social services, called for a 50% reduction to state funding of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse programs.

“Missouri families are tired of politicians that say one thing while in district and do another in Jefferson City. Jeff Grisamore, through a simple “no” vote could have blocked $2.3 million from being taken away from women and children who are victims of some of the most heinous acts imaginable. Instead, after party pressure, he took the cowardly and reprehensible approach by voting “present”, allowing the cuts to pass and that is shameful,” said House Democratic Leader-elect, Representative Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City).

The cuts would take over $2.3 million from Domestic violence programs, which is over 50% of the budget. Even worse they would take over $1.6 million away from Children’s Division Field Staff which could lead to a loss of accreditation. The vote also zeroed out the line item for Women and Minority Health Programs and cut over $9.5 million from FQHC. In addition, the state Child Care Assistance program, which Grisamore says he supports and wishes to expand, had the line item of $13.6 million dollars completely cut. The zeroing out of those funds means Missouri loses out on $38 million of federal assistance to the program as well. All together the cuts would result in over $51 million taken away from these services.

“Despite what he says when a camera or reporter is around, Jeff Grisamore simply turns his back on women and children in this state when they are in their most vulnerable or traumatic times,” added Talboy.

“The bottom line is, as a Lee’s Summit resident and father, I know our community places children first. Jeff Grisamore can no longer come back to Lee’s Summit telling voters he cares about kids. If he did he would have chosen them over his party leaders and fought for the $51 million,” said House Democratic Campaign Committee Director Chris Moreno.


During The Great Recession it's interesting to see the priorities of local politicos . . . Also, some name calling is kinda cool too.