With the current economic situation, many families are struggling to stay financially afloat. But the situation in Colorado is especially critical for families with children or siblings with developmental disabilities.
In Colorado, approximately 11,800 children and adults are able to receive an estimated $372 million dollars in government funding for services, according to the Colorado Voter Guide. These services are carried out at the state and local level and include a variety of services including full time care, job training and speech and language development.
But the state’s nearly 9,700 adults and children who are in need of assistance — a number that is estimated to grow to 12,000 by 2012 — are on a two-year waiting list for these services.
Amendment 51 would raise state sales tax to help alleviate funding constraints for Colorado’s developmentally disabled, giving needy families an estimated $89 million the first year and $186 million the next after the tax is fully enacted.
The sales tax rate — which would increase from 2.9 percent to 3 percent in 2009 and from 3 percent to 3.1 percent in 2010 — would cost consumers about a fifth of a penny on the dollar.
So take a look around and ask yourself “Would I pay an extra cent for my morning coffee?” or “Can I afford to pay an extra dollar for my $500 iPod?”
The struggle of the average university student is minuscule compared to those who deal with a disability on a daily basis. It doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch to give a little extra for those who need it more than us.
Help make Colorado a little better place for all, especially these wonderful people with extraordinary challenges. Vote yes on Amendment 51.