Susan N. Dreyfus, head of the state's Department of Social and Health Services, was careful to emphasize that proposed program cuts described at an Oct. 21 town hall were only options for budget reductions, not formal proposals, but the distinction was cold comfort to those who showed up to speak out against them.
Julie Graber of the Seattle Drug and Narcotic Treatment Center said the cuts would backfire and cause more problems.
Teresa Miller, a longtime home care worker and member of Sisters Organize for Survival, expressed concern about patients who would be affected by the prescription drug suspension.
Johnetta Micks, who works at the drug treament program Genesis House, said she's worried fewer people would have access to residential treatment centers.
Michelle Johnson, who also works at Genesis House, said she originally came to the meeting to advocate for chemical dependency rehabilitation, but was among many newly concerned about those who would be affected by the potential closure of psychiatric wards.
"It's a population that really needs to be protected, and it doesn't have as much advocacy as chemical dependency," she said.
And Linda Aldrich, who works for a North Bend nonprofit, said reductions in Temporary Assistance for Needy Famlies money, which she uses to support her family, make her worried about granddaughter's future.
Dreyfus, who is leaving DSHS in two months to return to Wisconsin and become CEO of a nonprofit, is tasked with submitting proposals to reduce the agency's budget to help make up for the state's $1.4 billion revenue shortfall. Gov. Gregoire has asked all state agencies to submit proposals to reduce their budget for the 2011