Governor Matt Blunt has insisted children with developmental disabilities will continue to receive services under a revised First Steps program. Parents with children in the program don’t seem reassured. No group has been more active protesting budget cuts at the Capitol than the parents of First Steps kids. First Steps provides services for children, age birth to three, with developmental and mental disabilities. Initially, Governor Blunt didn’t fund First Steps in the program. He insisted the children wouldn’t be left without services, and since has put forward a revised program. Malinda Terreri speaks for many parents in expressing concerns about Blunt’s solution, saying she doesn’t view any change favorably. The Blunt Administration proposal is before a Senate committee. It would work toward getting money from private insurance and Medicaid to offset the program’s costs, as well as requiring a co-pay. The state spends $16-Million a year on the program now. The changes are predicted to save 3-Million.
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