CHARLESTON – Essential services are being cut from this year’s state budget and agency voices are making themselves heard.
Patricia Bailey with the Women’s Resource Center said, "I'm having a little trouble understanding what the disconnect is because we’re talking about a life, a human life. What is it worth? What are those lives worth?"
Advocates for domestic violence and child abuse support, as well as Family Resource Networks from around the state, were in shock about the Governor’s cuts to their funding.
The voice of the ‘Our Children Our Future’ Campaign, Stephen Smith, said, "this is a crisis. We have 80 folks that are going to lose their jobs we have thousands of families who are going to lose services and our goal today is to make one final effort to win back these funds during this session, but also to get pledges from. The legislators, both sides of the aisle to say this is never going to happen again.”
Supporters know that this year’s funding will not likely be restored, but they went to the Capitol to express to their legislators what they want in the future.
Smith said, "we want to show that this isn't like everything else in the budget. It's more fiscally responsible, it's more of a job creator and there are more people who care about it than almost anything else in this budget. You don't see any other organization here today or campaign here today that's got anyone here, much less 250 families from around the state."
The Women’s Resource Center was hit hard by these budget cuts and knows the devastation it will cause families.
“We had hoped this would be a rally…that we were going to be able to celebrate our money being restored but it isn't a rally today, it's more or a vigil,” said Bailey, who will have to lay off two and a half employees and sacrifice services that amount to $357,900.
Advocates asked for help from their legislators by showing a strong presence. Bailey said, “if you don't see it, it isn't happening. So today I guess were here to be seen."