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Thousands of Elderly Texans rally at Texas
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb.
8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
-- Thousands of elderly Texans rallied
outside the state capitol Tuesday, calling
for Governor Perry and state lawmakers to
stop the proposed state budget cuts.
"Our message from senior Texans is simple.
We oppose all budget cuts this legislative
session," said David
Thomason, Chair of the Texas Senior
Advocacy Coalition, the advocacy group
organizing today's event.
While Governor Perry addressed lawmakers
inside the Texas Capitol, outside the Texas
Capitol concerned citizens called for
Governor Perry and state lawmakers to use
the state's rainy day fund and possibly
raise state taxes to address the state's
overall budget woes.
The rally is in response to plans announced
by Governor Perry and state lawmakers to
slash the state budget by $27
billion. The budget cuts will hit
especially hard on those programs designed
to care for frail elderly Texans.
The proposals call for over 33 percent cuts
in state funding for nursing home residents,
hospice care, and other senior programs.
"It is time to use the state's Rainy Day
fund and find other revenue sources to
protect our state's future. Governor Perry
is talking about the state's sunny road to
economic prosperity. But we are seeing a
gloomy future for Texas with
these proposed budget cuts. It is raining
Those attending the rally expressed strong
opposition to the proposed state budget
"It is shameful for the state to be
considering this," said Susan
Moore from Snook.
"We drove here because we wanted to express
our concerns and let lawmakers know that we
will not support these cuts," said Moore.
According to Thomason, this is the message
he is hearing from concerned citizens around
"Texans around the state are scared to death
about these cuts. Lawmakers have a
responsibility to balance the state's
budget, but that must not be on the backs of
seniors, children, and other disadvantaged
“Find the revenue sources, use the Texas
Rainy Day Fund, and look at the possibility
of raising the various state tax programs,"
currently near the lowest in the country for
funding senior services.
at the bottom of the nation's reimbursement
for elderly services," stated Bruce
Davis, a member of the Texas
Silver-Haired Legislature attending the
rally from Abilene.
According to Davis, "Any erosion to funding
for senior services would be especially
destructive to rural areas of the state. I
am fearful for the future of seniors in
The Texas Silver-Haired Legislature is a
member of the coalition organizing the
Speaker of the Texas Silver-Haired
Legislature, echoed Davis' concerns.
"Seniors in Texas expect
our legislature to be responsible with the
state budget. But responsibility does not
mean cutting programs that are designed for
the poorest, sickest, and most frail
Texans," said Graham.
"We have to be the voice of those frail
elderly Texans that cannot be at the Capitol
today. The thousands that are here today
represent themselves and the people that
cannot be here.
“Today, we are telling our legislature and
our Governor to stop the budget cuts and
focus on a responsible state budget." Graham
pointed out that stopping these budget cuts
remains a top priority for the Texas
"Events like this rally, getting the public
to hold our lawmakers accountable, are just
beginning around the state," said Thomason.
"The public is waking up to the fact that Texas lawmakers
are putting elderly Texans on a dangerous
path with these cuts."
The Texas Senior Advocacy Coalition is a
membership organization comprised of Texas senior
organizations. A copy of remarks from the
event are at www.txsac.org .