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One Voice gets louder at budget time

Monday, August 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

At the end of their discussion about the city’s Health and Human Services budget, City Council members briefly touched upon a proposition by the group One Voice Central Texas
to increase that department’s social service contracting budget by $15 million. Council Member Laura Morrison brought up their proposal, which points out that the city is not keeping up with the social service demands. Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the prospect of that increase made his eyes bug out. Kathie Tovo asked for more information from staff about whether the idea was workable. “I’m compelled that there is a really dramatic need in this community to increase those services,” said Tovo.  That work, according to staff, has already begun. The proposed Heath and Human Services Department budget is currently $52.2 million. One Voice Central Texas is a coalition that was established in 1983. It is made up of more than 80 heath and human services nonprofits. Morrison said the group is planning on discussing their plan at this week’s Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting.

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