Topeka Hundreds of Kansans with disabilities and their advocates Wednesday rallied at the Statehouse to ask lawmakers to provide adequate funding for social services.
"It's shove time," said Tom Laing, executive director of InterHab, a service network for people with disabilities.
Legislators returned for their wrap-up session with hundreds of budget decisions remaining, including many dealing with funding programs for low-income, elderly and disabled Kansans.
In addition to hundreds of people wearing "Real People. Real Lives" T-shirts, people at the rally presented a petition signed by nearly 35,000 people to fund social service programs.
Kathy Lobb, with the Lawrence-based Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas, said, "We're asking the governor and the Legislature to give more money for waiting lists to make sure that people have the lifestyles they prefer."
Advocates are seeking about $10 million to eliminate waiting lists for home-based programs for elderly and developmentally disabled Kansans. InterHab also is seeking funding increases to increase wages for caregivers.
Lawmakers are expected to start debating the final budget today.