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Gov. Jerry Brown's budget comes up short for disabled people

To the editor: While Gov. Jerry Brown has budgeted a 1.4% increase in aid to the needs of our indigent and disabled, I am among the many disappointed Californians who has a personal mandate to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. ("Gov. Jerry Brown's budget helps schools and the poor -- and saves a lot for a rainy day," Jan. 7)

As a person with an adult disabled brother, I've been keenly following the economic news and was looking forward to a budget that would reverse or roll back some of the severest cuts that were made in overall services for Californians with special needs.

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While saving for a rainy day is obviously a sound financial theory, I expect more from someone of Gov. Jerry Brown's caliber in regard to the disabled who often come from financially disadvantaged situations. If even one marginalized family cannot afford or be subsidized to attain life-enhancing therapies, educational interventions and complicated medical issues, then California, as a democratic and quite wealthy state, has quite simply failed.

I will end with a Pearl Buck quote: "The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members."

Lena Rivkin, Studio City

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