MPAS CONSIDERS FILING SUIT AGAINST STATE
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service (MPAS) stated this week that it is pulling together the agency's legal talent needed to consider filing a Constitutional Challenge against the state of Michigan if the State Legislature and governor move forward with the anticipated massive cuts in services to people with disabilities.
Elmer Cerano, executive director of the nonprofit agency stated, "In our frequent and intensive visits with State officials the answer is always the same, 'we have no money.' Of course we recognize the very real fiscal crisis facing the state; however, we take very seriously the promises of Michigan's Constitution, Article 8, Section 8, which provides:
Institutions, programs and services for the care, treatment, education, or rehabilitation of those inhabitants who are physically, mentally or otherwise seriously disabled shall always be fostered and supported.
Mark Cody, the organization's legal director stated, "Further reductions in General Fund appropriations for mental health services will place the most vulnerable of Michigan's citizens at risk. The state of Michigan is, or may soon be, in violation of the Michigan Constitution by failing to adequately fund services for individuals who are physically, mentally or otherwise seriously disabled."
Cerano has directed the agency's legal team to investigate the feasibility of bringing a Constitutional Challenge against the State for its failure to meet this constitutional requirement. "We will be carefully monitoring the impact of the budget cuts on the lives of people with disabilities," he says.
Elmer Cerano is the Keynote Speaker at the 2009 Michigan Rehabilitation Conference, October 21-23 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids.