Well, it didn’t take long.
As part of an executive order cutting a total of $2 billion on 375 line items, Governor Christie slashed $155,000 in funding to be provided to Autism New Jersey under an existing agreement with the State’s Division of Developmental Disabilities. While the $155K is a tiny fraction of the bloated state budget, it is a very significant amount for a lean non-profit which does some really important work.
Linda Meyer, Executive Director of Autism New Jersey, sent an alert to members which included these words from her response to the Governor:
Let there be no doubt. There will be a direct and substantial impact on families in need of support as a result of this cut. 1 in 94 individuals in New Jersey are diagnosed with autism. The services we offer are available to as many as 80,000 children and adults with autism spectrum disorders in New Jersey. We have planned more than twenty workshops for parents and professionals with close to 1,000 people expected to attend. And the funds allow us to offer a timely response to 4,500 individuals who reach us via telephone, and 2,000 individuals who receive printed support and guidance materials. Those are all in jeopardy today.
Autism New Jersey has posted a petition asking for restoration of these necessary funds. I just signed it.