Sunshine Connection hit again with cuts

TOPEKA (KSNT) – There are two Parakeets at Sunshine Connection named Hope and Faith. These two tiny birds have inadvertently become symbols for the group as they await their fate in the midst of budget cuts.

“They keep saying we’re not going to cut, we’re not going to cut. Oh, we’re going to reallocate,” said director Cara Talley. “Well, what does that mean? It means cut in a different way.”

When KSNT News first reached out to Sunshine Connection, they were waiting on two months worth of checks from state grants. Those checks did arrive but now things are changing and putting the future of the consumer run organization in jeopardy.

“The give an they take. They give and they take. They give and they take,” Talley said about the difficulty of setting a budget when money from the state isn’t always a probability.

On Thursday afternoon, representative from the six CROs across the state met with representatives from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

“They said it’s gone. That’s all they said ‘it’s gone,'” said former director Judy Thompson. “Where did all the money go? Well it no longer exists.”

“I’m not sure where it went,” Talley said. “My guess is wherever the Governor put it.”

Thompson said she has a solution.

“We pull part of (Brownback’s) money so he can live on less and we can help more consumers in Kansas,” she said.

KSNT News reached out to KDADS for comment but calls were not returned.

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