Special Olympics officials say they are at risk for state funding cuts

State my cut funding for Special Olympics

LANSING, MICH. - State funding for programs that provide opportunities for thousands in Michigan, may soon be gone. According to Special Olympics Michigan officials, earlier this week, the state Senate voted out dollars from the Mental Health and Wellness Commission.

That's $500,000  a year for Special Olympics Michigan. If the proposed cut passes, it will put hundreds of programs on the chopping block. 

"I have citizens calling me about possible cuts. Everything is still under debate," State Senator Rick Jones said. 

The Republicans phone has been buzzing, as word spreads about a major budget cut.

Special Olympics Michigan tells us Mental Health and Wellness Commission dollars were eliminated from the Michigan Department of Heath and Human Services budget earlier this week.

Though the final budget has not been passed, the mere idea is not sitting well with many.

"It's a pretty chunk of money that's allocated for us," Lois Arnold, President & CEO of Special Olympics MI, said. "If we lose that funding, we will lose the funding that we give to schools, that's over 200 schools."

219 facilities get funding from Special Olympics Michigan as Unified Champion Schools. These schools provide anti-bullying programs that better relationships between those with intellectual disabilities and those without, through sports.

"The school culture for students with disabilities it a lot friendlier, it's a friendlier place," Arnold said. "Students are no longer kept in the back hallways or the special education classes, but they're becoming part of a team."

Senator Jones says the budget is not usually officially passed until June.

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