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Access Services: Don’t Cut Our Funding

Thousands of people are expected in Harrisburg Wednesday for a rally to ask the governor to rethink proposed cuts to the state budget.

A thrift store along Route 309 in Tamaqua is run by Access Services, a group that caters to those with physical and mental handicaps.  The goal is to make clients, such as Marie Giasson,  an important part of the community.

“It keeps me doing activities and it keeps me here and volunteering and stuff and I like it very much,” Giasson said

At a nearby dam, clients are taking in a day of fishing.  Staff member Jim Fulmer has  heard about the governor’s proposed cut of 20 percent to his agency. Fulmer said he is uneasy about what could happen.

“Most people when they see me say, ‘Why don’t you bring the gang up and we’ll take care of them for the day?’ And these people are my family, they always have and I’ve been here 11 years.”

Sheila Davison runs Access Services. She said the governor’s proposed budget would slash about $200,000.

“We have to take a close look at everything we do because we are so bare-boned with the cuts we’ve already had. If there were additional cuts, it would be devastating.”

Davison predicts the proposed cuts would interfere with their mission.

“It will affect people who are looking for training to get jobs. It will affect parents with adult children who won’t be able to go to work because they would have to stay home with their adult child,” Davison said.

Access Services officials said they will be traveling to Harrisburg on Wednesday, rallying with other non-profit groups asking Governor Corbett not cut their funding.


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