By Raymond Neupert, WSAU Radio
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Representative Katrina Shankland and Senator Julie Lassa will be in Stevens Point tomorrow to talk about changes to senior services in Wisconsin under Governor Walker's proposed budget.
Changes to long-term care and county Aging and Disability Resource Centers could make things difficult for people who rely on those services. Representative Katrina Shankland says not enough attention has been placed on this section of the budget and impact it will have on Wisconsin seniors. "It completely takes away people's independence by eliminating IRIS. I've heard from many different people who are very concerned about it, as well as extreme cuts to SeniorCare, $15 million cuts to SeniorCare, ending it as we know it."
Shankland is concerned that changes to the way the ADRCs are handled would remove the right of first refusal to counties in setting up information exchanges. "Our Aging and Disability Resource Centers provide great, unbiased, non-partisan information to seniors, people with disabilities and their families. And this budget puts that at risk, and essentially opens the doors to privatization." She says the budget will also drastically change how Family Care and Senior Care are handled at the state level and could push current providers out of the market. "So to take out the public voice by introducing these long-term drastic changes to the programs so many people rely on really isn't thinking about the public."
That meeting starts tomorrow morning at 10 am at the Lincoln Center in Stevens Point and runs until noon.