Funding care providers during a government shutdown - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Funding care providers during a government shutdown


Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) --

There is still a long way to go before we know which governmental services will remain funded during a possible government shutdown, and it has a lot of people nervous. While many governmental employees have gotten layoff notices because of the shutdown threat, there are many others who don't work in a state building, but still rely on a state paycheck.

Governor Mark Dayton gave his court filing Wednesday that had his recommendations of needed governmental services, even during a shutdown. Things like Emergency services, prison guards, nursing homes. But some care providers in Rochester are saying there are many services that fly under the radar, that also need protection.

Getting around for Don Weiler is difficult. But with each step, Don proves he doesn't need to be in a nursing home. He would rather be in this home...

"It's more of a home atmosphere."

An adult foster care home, a type of assisted living with a more personal touch.

"They care for people, they take you places," Don explains.

"It's kind of sad that maybe there is not enough recognition about what actually happens in adult foster care homes," exclaims Laurie Vlach, an adult foster care provider.

In fact, Vlach, says if more people knew about adult foster care, then maybe the state would decide to keep paying the care providers during a possible government shutdown. But provider payments did not even make Governor Dayton's service recommendation list.

"My client has no one, no one but the county and state to take care of her, and me," says Sharry Chapman, another care provider

Chapman says she doesn't know how she will be able to provide food for herself and her client, or how she will pay her mortgage without the care provider payments from the state. More importantly, these ladies question how caring for vulnerable adults is not high on the state's priority list.

"If we're a humane society and we care about our elderly and some of the people that are less capable in our society, then obviously this should be one of the highest priorities," says Vlach.

So now these providers are crossing their fingers...

"Somebody's going to come through."

That somehow lawmakers and governor can still find a budget solution before the July 1st deadline.

"The governor is going to get his job done. I have confidence in him," says Don.

While a budget solution is being hammered out, a judicial mediator will take up governor Dayton's recommendations for which services should remain funded in case of a shutdown. The mediator will then decide which of those services are legally appropriate for funding, and the courts ultimately have to accept the mediator's decision.

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