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Philadelphia Official Warns of State Cuts Affecting Those With Mental Issues

(Arthur Evans, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health commissioner, testifies before a Philadelphia City Council budget hearing.  Photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Arthur Evans, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health commissioner, testifies before a Philadelphia City Council budget hearing. Photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Nutter administration’s top social service officials warned City Council members today about the impact of budget cuts proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

During a budget hearing this morning, councilmembers had questions about Corbett’s proposal to consolidate much social service spending into “block grants,” and then reducing the total amount by about 20 percent.

The Nutter administration puts the city’s reduction at about $40 million, with $33 million of that cut felt specifically by the Department of Behavioral Health.

The group’s commissioner, Arthur Evans (photo), told Council this will mainly impact people with mental disabilities whom, he said, are sorely in need of help.

“The amount of moving around of dollars that we can do is minimal,” he said, “but we will do the best that we can to try to mitigate those kinds of catastrophic cuts.”

The warnings came as state lawmakers returned to Harrisburg to begin hashing over the governor’s proposed budget.