Saturday, March 6, 2010

Virginia YDs call on the Governor to renounce Bob Marshall's remarks and live up to his promises to Youth with Disabilities

I received this release from the Virginia Young Democrats late yesterday:

Virginia Young Democrats Call on Governor Bob McDonnell to Repudiate Bob Marshall’s Remarks and Live Up to His Promises to Youth with Disabilities By Cancelling Devastating Budget Cuts to Proposed Safety Net Services
I've known Delegate Marshall for nearly 20 years and I'm sure he regrets saying that. I think those are wrong and offensive comments. We should do everything we can for young children that are developmentally disabled and provide the best safety net that we can through state government.

– Governor Bob McDonnell, “Ask the Governor,” WTOP Radio, February 23, 2010

Virginia Young Democrats calls on Governor Bob McDonnell to honor his rhetorical commitment to “the best safety net” services for children with disabilities by cancelling his draconian budget proposals slashing funding for home and community based services.

When Governor McDonnell appropriately condemned the appalling remarks of Delegate Bob Marshall(R-Prince William) for suggesting that children with disabilities were punishment for the actions of their parents, he verbally endorsed doing “everything we can” to provide these children with the “best safety net through state government.” Yet McDonnell’s laudable rhetoric is inconsistent with the stark reality that his budget endorses draconian cuts to home and community based services and related programs which these children and their families rely upon.

As Delegate Robin Abbott (D- Newport News), mother of a young adult with a disability, said recently while referencing Marshall’s hurtful words, and McDonnell’s devastating budget, “More important than words or rhetoric are the actions we take." Budgets are moral documents, which reflect a leader’s values and priorities. And as a moral document Governor McDonnell’s budget is quite disturbing: He proposes eliminating 6,000 self-directed home and community based services waiver slots for children and adults with disabilities, while cutting Medicaid eligibility and slashing funding for related supports that children and young adults with disabilities rely upon to live independently in the community.

While Bob Marshall’s words are extraordinarily hurtful to children with disabilities and their parents, Bob McDonnell’s budget is far more harmful, threatening to devastate the services and supports families have come to rely upon and to deprive young people with disabilities of their opportunity to pursue educational and career opportunities in their communities.

Fortunately, the Democratic –led Senate takes a different approach, prioritizing the preservation of community services, while minimizing painful cuts to Virginia’s young people with disabilities and their families. To honor his commitment to a safety net and dignity for children with disabilities and demonstrate his respect for their lives and dignity, Virginia Young Democrats calls upon Governor McDonnell to use opportunity of the budget negotiations to reach an accord with Senate Democrats and ensure that we do not balance the budget on the backs of people with disabilities.

I can't agree more. But what did people expect when they voted in Bob McDonald as Governor and expand the Republican majority in the House of Delegates? Catastrophic cuts to Social Services, the proposed de-funding and dismantling of Virginia's Public School's, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ordering Virginia's state funded Higher Education system to rescind non-discrimination policies relating to sexual orientation, I wonder if there's just a little bit of buyer's remorse out there? Again, what did people expect? You get the government you deserve while the rest suffer from the bad choices.

As for Delegate Bob Marshall's comments about mothers giving birth to babies with sever mental and physical disabilities, how does he account for mothers who didn't have abortions and their first child was born with these same disabilities? This one hits very close to home for me because my mother falls into this catagory. My oldest sibling (who passed away more than ten years ago) was born with sever mental and physical disabilities. And my mother never had an abortion. What sin did she commit for her first born child to have sever mental and physical disabilities? HOW DARE YOU MAKE SUCH EXTREM AND INSENSITIVE REMARKS TO ADVANCE YOUR EXTREMIST SOCIAL AGENDA!

I know this is very late, but the YD's statement on this brought it back for me. It's time for you to go Bob Marshall.

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