Disability services list will not see any relief due to failed bill
Mar 9, 2023, 5:00 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — The waitlist to get state disability services can last over 25 years. A bill that would have funded 200 people getting off that list each year was stripped of money and effectively failed in the legislature this year.
State representative and bill sponsor, Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, said Utah can do a lot better at shrinking that list each year.
“Even though I had a unanimous vote, even though everyone admitted it was a terrible problem, even though everyone agreed wholeheartedly that we didn’t have a long-term plan to make the waiting list better, the supervisory committee still chose not to fund my bill so it failed…”
Contextually, 4,500 people are on the waitlist for state disability services.
“This year and last year we got a good number of people off of it. But over the last 10 years, it has been miserable. The list keeps getting longer and longer every year. We have some people that have been on the waiting list for 25 years… that’s a whole generation.”
Ward confirmed $3.5 million of last year’s budget got 250 people off the waitlist.
Those 250 people will continue to receive that amount every future year. He added that families absolutely need this care as these people with disabilities can cause physical harm and other problems for their family caregivers.
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