State Budget Local Impact

Sep 24, 2010 8:03 PM

Chico Merit Medi-Trans President, Steve Horne says, "When we withdraw our services, and we have to discontinue services due to this, it has a drastic impact." Diane Cooper-Pucket, Peg Taylor Center Executive Director states, "We haven't been paid since mid-August by the state for the services that we provide." They both have seen drastic impacts on their local organizations due to the california budget impasse. Horne is the president of Merit Medi-Trans, which is a local company that provides transportation for patients needing medical treatment. Not only is the state more than $200,000 in arrears to his company, horne himself has not had a pay check since mid-August.

He says he's fed up with all of the excuses. "I would like to know how number one, the government officials that are responsible for this continue to get paid when you have providers that are providing service that don't continue to get paid."

Horne is not alone in his fight for what's right. Peg Taylor Center executive director, Diane Cooper-Puckett, is facing cutbacks as well. Fortunately, she was able to tap into a state loan program for rural areas, but other organizations, including Merit Medi-Trans have not been so fortunate. Diane says, "With the budget crisis continuing what we're seeing is a great impact on many, many programs in our area and across the state." Other services like the Valley Oaks Children's Center, who can no longer afford to be open on Fridays."So we need a budget to be passed soon, but we need the right budget that preserves these life saving, actually cost saving programs that are out here working hard on behalf of California's families," Diane says.


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