Karen Schwartz, director of the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council, said the agencies faced two cuts in the 2009 fiscal year that were part of widespread rescissions across state government.
Additional cuts were made in the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years as part of the "Challenges for Change" initiative.
Last year saw a similar situation where new caseloads outgrew the budget, according to Schwartz
"There was going to be a rescission but there was a lot of advocacy last fall and money was put into the budget adjustment," she
said the group met at least four times but was unable to find any immediate savings.
"They came up with a list of possible reforms and possible things in the future that could save money, but the conclusion of the group was there was nothing … that could be implemented right away," she
Some of the regional agencies will have to scale back services, according to Schwartz
said the agencies are not all on an equal financial footing so cuts will not be applied evenly.
"What we're hearing is that some agencies can absorb some of the rollback and others can't.
So, it's going to depend on where you live in the state and whether your regional agency has resources.
It's going to be uneven," she
fears the cuts will result in a return to "day services," which are cheaper, but do not allow people to integrate as much into their communities.
It would mean "a return to a more institutional way of doing services because it brings people together segregated from the community," she