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Coalition seeks funds for RI's disabled residents

February 14, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Relatives and caregivers for people with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island are rallying at the Statehouse to encourage state lawmakers to reverse $24 million in budget cuts that they say are hurting programs for the disabled.

More than 100 members of the Have a Heart Coalition filled the capitol rotunda Tuesday to call attention to the budget cuts.

Members of the group say the cuts have led to layoffs at social service agencies and reduced programs for the developmentally disabled.

Tammy Bellars says she worries programs for her developmentally disabled daughter Tabitha could be cut next.

Several speakers at the rally said lawmakers should consider tax increases on wealthy earners to raise money for the programs.

Lawmakers approved the cuts last year to eliminate a $331 million budget deficit.

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