Decision to avoid veto session devastates families waiting on NOW slots

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Friday, July 12, 2013 - 10:35pm

The Brown family has spent the last few weeks hoping for a miracle.

"I don't know what they're reason could have been but we all hoped, and prayed and worked for a better outcome," explained Ursula Brown.

Just a few weeks ago Governor Bobby Jindal vetoed the funding for the New Opportunity Waiver that would have helped their autistic daughter, Tierra. Friday morning, their last hope to get that funding back died.

"We were on that boat. I don't know what happened. We were headed there, we were in that right direction and then all of a sudden everything just stopped. It came to a halt," said Brown.

The NOW slots would have helped 200 children like Tierra with the services they need to grow and function. Tierra's been on the list for almost 10 years, now it seems as though her wait will be growing by at least another year.

"I don't know what to make of it. I really don't. I am just heartbroken right now and I don't know what the future will be promising for myself, my family and other families at this point," added Brown.

Brown says she is heartbroken, but not beat. Next year she has vowed to go back, and next year she's hoping her daughter’s name will finally be called.

"This is what we are called to do. I mean we're going to fight and we're going to push and we're going to push harder. And we're hopefully going to work towards the best. the best outcome of what the future has to hold for us," explained Brown.

There are close to 10,000 children on the waiting list right now, the average wait to get a waiver is 10 years.


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